India Markets open in 3 hrs 13 mins

Kickstart your eco-friendly travel with these eight places

FE Bureau
The beautiful lakeside town in the St Johann im Pongau district in the state of Salzburg in Austria is changing the face of sustainable tourism.

Lake Garda, Italy

The world has heard of Lake Como, thanks to its lavish shores and high profile status, but Lake Garda is the real attraction for eco-friendly travelers. It has a direct rail connection from Milan, which gives travelers the freedom to leave their cars at home. The lake in northern Italy known for its crystal clear water also boasts of one of country’s greenest hotels-Lefar Resort and Spa. It offsets all of its carbon dioxide emissions and nearly 60% of its energy is derived from renewable resources. the space is the first in Italy to be given Ecocert’s Ecological Spa certification.

Arosa, Switzerland

While there isn’t anything not breathtaking in Switzerland, Arosa in particular is known for its lakes, ski slopes and astounding trails. The charming Alpine resort village in the Schanfigg Valley, in the Swiss canton of Graubünden, is also home to Hotel Valsana which is the first Swiss hotel to have a central heating system running on an ice battery. It is an energy recovery system which uses excess heat energy that would otherwise have been lost. Besides, several other resorts in the village have electric car charging points. The town has a free-of-cost charging point as well.

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

The remote volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean will not only provide the much needed solace away from the hustle of cities, but also feed the eco-friendly soul in you as reaching here would require a motorcade of gas-guzzling transport options. The unique Pikaia Lodge in the island is a carbon-neutral hotel made with steel that can be easily recycled. The hotel also has its own reforestation programme and water is supplied here from rooftop rain harvesting systems. It would be best to visit the island in a small group so as to leave as little impact on the wildlife as possible.

The Bahamas

The island has long been considered an attractive tourist destination, but only recently have conservation efforts and usage of organic products, solar energy been come into place to help protect the stunning natural assets. For instance, Kamalame Cay on the Andros Island encourages tourists to dine on lionfish which is an invasive species that preys on indigenous fish, disrupting the local ecosystem. Another resort called The Other Side hotel is entirely solar-powered. At Tiamo Resort, the products used are carefully chosen to minimise risk of pollution. Water heating is also done via rooftop solar panels. Besides, the resort has recruited all of its employees from the island itself.

Catalonia, Spain

The Catalonia region in northeastern Spain known for its lively beach resorts is the first entire region to obtain Biosphere Responsible Tourism certification backed by UNESCO and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) for its efforts to recognise the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature in the region. Former coal, lead and salt mines in the region have been turned into renewed cultural and environmental areas. Aplenty of businesses have been given an EU Ecolabel, which is a certificate highlighting environmentally-friendly, high-quality products and services. Another tourist attraction is the Cardona Salt Mountain Cultural Park; which offers visitors a chance to learn about the region’s unique natural geology.

Costa Rica

The rugged, rainforested Central American country with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific aims to become the world’s first carbon neutral country. It is very well on its way to achieving that goal by 2021. Almost all of the country’s electricity comes from renewable resources. The UN was so impressed with conservation efforts that it made the country’s former president, Luis Guillermo Solís, a special ambassador to their World Tourism Organisation.

Werfenweng, Austria

The beautiful lakeside town in the St Johann im Pongau district in the state of Salzburg in Austria is changing the face of sustainable tourism. At the train station, there is a complimentary pick-up service available for all visitors, encouraging them to leave their private vehicles at home. Moreover, a SAMO pass worth 10 euros grants access to a fleet of green vehicles to all travelers. E-cars, novelty buggies and bikes are all that can be found across town, thanks to this initiative.

Pangulasian Island, Philippines

This haven for tourists has a number of initiatives dedicated to preserving the environment through multiple ways. The private island resort teaches the traditional art of weaving to local women, whose produce is both bought by and sold at the hotel. A wide-reaching nature conservation programme which looks after twice-monthly clean-ups is also writ large. Besides, the programme seeks to protect the island against illegal fishing.