What Is Regenerative Tourism And Why Is It Becoming More Important To Travelers?

The COVID-19 pandemic taught the world quite a few things about health and how well (or not so well) humans can adapt to major lifestyle disruptions. Among the headlines were the positive environmental effects of millions of people staying at home for months. Additionally, while digital nomads existed before COVID-19, the resulting transformation of the workplace increased the number of these remote workers who are able to travel more often or work from all over the world.

Traveling for any purpose has been known to have detrimental effects on the environment. As worldwide travel continues to increase, environmental and overtourism concerns loom more and more. Thankfully, travelers and tourism professionals are becoming more conscious of their actions and impacts through regenerative travel or regenerative tourism. This means that instead of only focusing on sustainable travel, which can include using public transportation or reef-safe sunscreen, people are also supporting organizations and engaging in activities that aim to improve the land around them while continuing to travel.

Tourists can volunteer with environmental nonprofits

When learning about the human causes of climate change or something more specific like plastic ingestion among animals, traveling can make people feel like they are only adding to the problems. This is why regenerative tourism is important. Regenerative tourism helps people travel with a purpose and makes them feel that they not only enjoyed some beautiful sights, but also helped ensure people can continue enjoying such sights in the future.

Nonprofits working to improve the environment often use support from volunteers to achieve their missions. For example, the Surf Rider Foundation aims to clean trash from beaches and promote best practices for spending time in and out of the water without harming the land or its wildlife. It has chapters located all over the United States, and tourists can take part in regenerative tourism by volunteering with its coastline cleanups. The foundation has chapters all over the United States, and its website outlines volunteer opportunities.

Hotels around the world are partnering with conservation efforts

Regenerative travel is a social and environmental movement, but also an organization. Helmed by Amanda Ho, Regenerative Travel is an organization creating a network of hotels that are working toward positive environmental impacts. Its website explains that sustainability and positive impact are not the same things because sustainability is only impact reduction. "Regeneration is moving beyond sustainability to create net-positive impact," the website states. Through membership opportunities, Regenerative Travel helps travelers connect with lodging options that are part of the network. Business memberships can advertise themselves to these conscious travelers while also becoming a part of Regenerative Travel's community events.

Among the lodging organizations aiming to take part in regenerative tourism is the Rewa Eco-Lodge in Guyana. Employees at this lodge work alongside foundations and biologists to research the arapaima fish. If you want to try your hand at catch-and-release fishing for these 400-pound aquatic predators, guides at Rewa can help — all while gathering population data for this integral species.