March 29, 2014

World Tourism Day: Sustainable Energy

by Marcela Torres

Today marks the celebration of the 2012 World Tourism Day (WTD) under the theme “Tourism & Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development”, with the aim of highlighting tourism’s role in a brighter energy future; a future in which the world’s entire population has access to modern, efficient and affordable energy services.

Through this blog, I have highlighted several initiative or issues related to energy sustainability in tourism. One outstanding example is the construction of the first sustainable Visitor Center in a protected area in Chile, in the Soncor Sector (Chaxa Lagoon) of the Los Flamencos National Reserve in the Atacama Salt Flat. The project included the architectural design and construction of the Visitor Center, incorporating techniques such as reuse of grey water and electricity generation through solar panels and wind mills.

I have also analyzed the international trend of travelers preferring “green hotels”, highlighting the opening in Santiago of Chile’s first green hotel which, among other things, using solar panels to provide electricity for its rooms and promotes recycling among its staff and guests. In terms of transportation, I have covered topics such as the use of biofuels by airlines, regarding the implications of increasing costs of fuel and energy in the future. 

Finally, I’ve provided useful tips for tourists to reduce their carbon footprint while traveling, through measures such as saving unnecessary energy expenditure when they’re not at home, avoiding disposable batteries and choosing day flights which use less fuel and emit fewer amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Let's celebrate this World Tourism Day inviting everyone to contribute to a greater sustainability in the industry!

This entry was originally posted by the author on September 27, 2012.

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