10 must-haves to contribute and make tourism sustainable

10 must-haves to contribute and make tourism sustainable

Sustainability is a delicate topic we could talk about for days and not getting to the end of it. During a youth exchange co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, 30 young people from 5 different countries met and tried to come up with ideas for giving their contribution in helping people thinking more sustainably. This time they focused on tourism and ideated the 10 must-haves to make it sustainable.

Sustainability is a delicate topic that needs to be taken with caution and studied in all its facets.

Are young people, who find themselves and are willing to take this responsibility to change things and start the eco-revolution, adequately equipped for this challenge?

Are they equipped in a world where we often do not recognise our responsibility or the possibility to do something to bring about change? And where it is often assumed that someone else has to do it? Someone more influential, bigger, with more resources?

Surely this is an easier way of thinking about reality. But it is certain that we can and must act differently!

We can finally convince ourselves that change takes time, patience and thoughtful action. Not necessarily big actions, but well thought out in order to have a long-term effect.

What can we do concretely? BeSustainable, the answer of young people

So what can we actually do? We asked ourselves this question together with the young people of Aicem who, as always, try to do their best to leave the world better than they found it. How can we be useful and have an impact in everyday life? And when we need to pull the plug on everyday life and go on holiday, can we pull the plug on being sustainable?

Absolutely not!

So, as we head into the holiday season, what better time to be sustainable than by choosing a more eco-friendly destination? Have you wondered what qualities to look out for when looking for a holiday that is good for the environment or helps to use its resources in a sustainable way?

Then we suggest you read what came out of one of Aicem’s latest youth exchanges.

Funded by the Erasmus+ programme, AICEM (Italian Association for Cooperation and Education in the World) launched “Be SustainAble“.

The project saw 30 young people from Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Germany and Lithuania come together in Terracina, Lazio, to discuss sustainable tourism through non-formal education activities, debates and constructive comparisons.

Added bonus: the exchange was held in a campsite with access to one of the beautiful beaches of the Riviera di Ulisse.

Obviously, we tried to organise the project activities in the greenest way possible, from the means of transport, to the use of recyclable crockery and 0 km food, from the request to the campsite for non-plastic water bottles to the change of towels in the rooms only when really necessary. Finally, a beach cleaning day was organised to leave the place even cleaner than it was. All small examples of how to make an impact in everyday life.

10 must-haves for sustainable tourism

But within this framework, the young people also asked themselves:

“What does sustainability mean? What does it mean to be sustainable for tourists and for the structure hosting them?”

“How can accommodation facilities organise themselves to market greener deals?”

In a 6 days experience of updating about data, understanding, brainstorming, and deciding to take an action, eventually the youngsters managed to elaborate a guide of 10 must-haves to contribute and make tourism more sustainable, putting in writing what they think a person should pay attention to when booking a holiday, a trip, a facility to be as green as possible.

You can find them below:

1)Support long-term local economy

2)Guarantee the access to eco-friendly mobility

3)Live an authentic local experience

4)Respect places and people

5)Minimise energy use and use renewable energy sources

6)Recycle, Reduce, Reuse

7)Join eco-friendly labels

8)Protect the environment and the animals

9)Give information about local life

10)Spread the voice!

The online campaign & personal commitment

The young people then collaborate in the creation of graphics and posts for an online campaign that would reach as many people as possible, to explain their rules better, maximise their impact and raise awareness in the run up to the summer holiday bookings!
This is how Aicem’s social media are currently hosting the “10 must-haves of sustainable tourism” column.

Of course we invite you to visit them and share the 10 must-haves. Because no matter how small this action seems, if you think it through and even one of these points is realised in practice, it is a symbol that change is indeed possible if you really believe in it!

All the pictures are courtesy of AICEM and the project BeSustainable.


  • green
  • holidays
  • must have
  • sostenibilità
  • sustainability
  • sustainable tourism
  • tourism
  • trip
  • vacations
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