Regenerative Tourism Encourages Travelers to Get Their Hands Dirty

What’s the latest trend in travel, you might ask? A big little thing called regenerative tourism, of course. Vacations that allow travelers to get their hands dirty and actively participate in a range of conservation projects and initiatives are the next big thing in travel.

The Future of Tourism Coalition

Regenerative Tourism Encourages Travelers to Get Their Hands Dirty
Although it isn’t new, regenerative tourism projects are growing in popularity. As a result, in June 2020, six international travel organizations started the Future of Tourism Coalition. Their goal is to mitigate “extractive tourism” — the destruction of regions or habitats as a result of visitor overcrowding — by transforming the tourism model into one that benefits vulnerable people and places.

Travelers are encouraged to sign up for vacations where they can join conservation activities, such as habitat restoration while learning about the region and its inhabitants.

Long-Term Benefits of Conservation

Environmental experts are seeing a rapid increase in interested travelers who want to give back and offer their help to endangered areas. Many people are actively looking for ways to help with environmental restoration efforts in regions affected by floods, pollution, and fires. That’s not only great news for the environment, but it’s also good for small communities that heavily rely on tourism.

Wild horses in the salt marshes on Chincoteague IslandOne great recent example is the Road Scholar service program that helped to remove the barbed wire on Chincoteague Island in Virginia to help protect the island’s famed wild horses to run freely in the salt marshes.

Regenerative Tourism Isn’t a New Concept

This may be the first time you’re learning about regenerative tourism, but it’s actually not a new concept at all. It was Sierra Club that first began offering volunteer service outings back in the 1950s. Then, later on in the 1970s, Earthwatch started pairing researchers and volunteers on trips to help with conservation efforts. This not-so-new model of travel continues to gain popularity as more and more people are beginning to understand how damaging traditional tourism has become to the environment and how crucial it is to protect it, at all costs.

Men and women helped to collect garbage in a black bag.
Join the Effort

The best thing about regenerative tourism is that it offers both environmental and personal benefits for participants. Whether you’re helping with local habitat restoration, wildlife monitoring, or clearing a river bank, you’ll likely feel a much stronger connection to nature and yourself. The immense personal satisfaction from knowing you’re doing something good, surrounded by other like-minded people is a fantastic experience and a teaching moment, for us all.