28 Oct 2015
Barcelona, Spain
Sustainable Tourism

There is traditional tourism, and then there is sustainable tourism. Aethnic is a Barcelona-based association that is helping with the shift to the latter. Despite the values and importance of sustainable tourism receiving more recognition in recent years, sustainable companies still account for just 1% of all tourism operations worldwide.

Aethnic defends tourism sustainability through the sensitization and awareness-raising of all players involved in the industry. It works with different tour companies to create specific sustainable projects that are adapted to each location, thereby considering the social, economic, and environmental variables.

A commitment to sustainable tourism:

Each of the wholesalers and retailers that collaborate with Aethnic have demonstrated a commitment to sustainable tourism. Moreover, the association cooperates with local travel agencies in destination countries to promote local development and sustainable growth. So far, Aethnic’s destination countries-of-focus are The Gambia, Senegal, and Morocco.

Much of the information shared with tour companies is also available on Aethnic’s website. This is so consumers can also learn about the ecological, socioeconomic, and quality criteria a company must pass to be declared a sustainable operation. It also lists a so-called “traveler’s decalogue” which is meant to guide the practice of responsible tourism. It pulls information from the Global Code of Ethics prepared by the World Tourism Organization.

Improving the environment:

Aethnic designs and implements tourism proposals based on the criteria of tourism sustainability and responsibility. This strengthens the local economies of visited countries, respects and values their natural resources, and responsibly promotes the socioeconomic reality of these destinations. Aethnic also encourages all travellers to take public transportation, or some other means of group transport.

Each of its tourism proposals respect the environment, and endeavor to ensure the majority of services follow a strategy that avoids environmental harm. Likewise, the association advises customers and suppliers to make the same decisions.

Improving social relations in communities: 

Each of Aethnic’s activities are created as a participatory experience, and the local communities involved have a say in every step of the decision-making. As a result, they see that their wishes, interests, and traditions are respected. The association also hires well-trained members of the local population to provide various services.

At the same time, Aethnic sensitizes all other players involved in the tourism sector. This is through campaigns and other communications action.


Photos: Courtesy of Aethnic

Website: www.aethnic.org



Aethnic Sustainable Tourism
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