Today, the movement to go green affects all facets of life. Your decision to treat the Earth kindly may alter the kinds of food you eat, your daily commute to work, and the amount of garbage you throw away each day. It may even affect where and how you vacation.
This concept of responsible vacationing is known as sustainable tourism. Today, sustainable tourism is defined as an industry that attempts to make a low impact on the local environment and culture, while also helping to conserve ecosystems and generate local income and employment. Sustainable tourism should:
- Make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity.
- Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.
- Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation.
Because it is a small country with scarce natural resources, Israel has been making great strides in the area of sustainability in order to thoughtfully and carefully preserve its natural wonders, and balance them with its growing population. Due to a government decision to encourage and help fund environmentally friendly projects and practices, green industry is thriving.
One of the ways in which you can experience sustainable tourism in Israel is by visiting the Great Rift Valley, which is located at the crossroads between Europe and Africa. Every year, more than 500 million birds migrate through this area. These birds feed from man-made feeding stations that are supplied with food from local crops. The birds also attract thousands of bird watchers and curious spectators from around the world. In this manner, the feeding stations prevent the birds from wiping out indigenous flora to feed on, local farmers are supported with the purchase of the crops for feed, and the tourists who come to witness the birds provide money to the local economy and communities.
Everywhere you go in Israel, you’ll see examples of how tourism centers on a “back to nature” culture and attitude. In Kibbutz, for example, organic farming thrives, and tourists visit to discover and experience the innovative organic farming methods. To see more details about sustainable tourism in Israel, and the country’s earth-friendly industry tactics, check out this video from WeJew.com.