The Department of Tourism (DOT) advised travelers to reduce their waste disposal in places they visit. This is in line with the agency’s campaign to steer the country’s tourism toward a more sustainable approach.
The DOT called local governments to improve their respective waste management systems in tourist destinations nationwide. This comes after a cleanup organized by government bodies and diving groups gathered a total of 378 kilos of garbage in the Island Garden City of Samal.
The DOT also appealed to tourists to help in maintaining the cleanliness of the places they go to. In the time of the pandemic, they are focusing their efforts on sustainable tourism and environmental conservation, especially in sustaining the waters and their marine life. (Read: Apo Reef’s Endangered Sea Turtles Increase in Numbers During Lockdown)
Save Philippine Seas executive director Anna Oposa said the government, especially the DOT, should campaign for slow tourism. This means restricting the number of visitors that can enter a tourist site in a day.
“For the longest time, the government would say that they are not able to limit the people going. It took a pandemic for them to realize that they could,” Oposa said in a discussion hosted by the Asian Development Bank. (Read: 5 Easy Ways for a Sustainable Lifestyle)
“This kind of tourism is not only good for the tourists themselves because they will have a better user experience, [as] there are no thousands of people elbowing you in the ocean, or when you are sunbathing in the beach. It is also less pressure on the environment,” she added.
New Normal of Traveling
Though not a new trend, slow tourism is becoming the new normal when it comes to traveling. (WATCH: DOT Gives Tips for Safe Travels in Breathtaking Video Ad)
A contrast to mass tourism (wherein people tend to flock in droves to tourist destinations), slow tourism gives emphasis to reducing mobility and “taking it slow” to explore local history and culture while supporting the environment.
It is largely based on the concept of speed, wherein one is urged to travel for a prolonged period of time at a slow pace to allow a deep, authentic, and cultural experience. (Read: Here’s a List of PH Tourist Destinations Now Open to Travelers)
With slow tourism, you get to explore more “hidden gems” that the place has to offer, eat at local restaurants instead of the usual go-to places, shop in local markets and get acquainted with the locals, wander around local neighborhoods, stay in small guesthouses, and minimize carbon footprint and mechanization because the tourist will choose a more environment-friendly form of transportation.
With slow tourism, the traveler is invited to a more authentic and relaxing experience. Moreover, the costs and profit will go directly to support local families and help the local businesses thrive. (Read: Checklist: Must-Try Street Food From Around the World)
Will you consider traveling slow? Let us know in the comments!