“The Three Pillars of Sustainable Tourism”

When people talk about sustainable tourism what do they really mean?  Sustainable tourism is often described as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.  Sustainability has become a hot topic in the corporate world, and with good reason. According to the Global Footprint Network, in order to maintain our current consumption of the planet’s resources we would need the equivalent of 1.7 Earths!  Each of us has the ability to make small tweaks to our behaviour that together will add up to meaningful change.

The three pillars of sustainable tourism are environmental sustainability, social sustainability and economic sustainability (sometimes referred to as planet, people and profits).  Environmental sustainability can be addressed through actions such as reducing waste, eliminating single-use plastics and minimising the overall carbon footprint. Protection of natural environments such as forests and waterways is vital alongside conservation of man-made environmental artifacts such as historic buildings, architecture and artworks.  PATH’s commitment to environmental sustainability is a vital part of our corporate philosophy. Watch this space for further announcements about our plans for 2019!

Social sustainability is a bit harder to define than environmental sustainability, but in essence it is the concept of running your business in the interest of your employees, stakeholders, partners and the communities in which you operate.  We must recognise that all tourism has an impact on communities and it is our responsibility to reduce or eliminate the negative impacts and boost the positive. At PATH we are passionate about working with local communities to ensure that they benefit from our operations.  Our local staff all have a great wealth of knowledge and experience of the culture of the communities we work with, and our grassroots approach means that we are able to work proactively with those communities.

Economic sustainability is financial profitability, but not to the detriment of the other two pillars (environmental and social).  If a company isn’t profitable then clearly it isn’t sustainable, but the pursuit of profit can never be at the expense of environmental and social concerns.  Our goal at PATH is to work with trusted local suppliers who share our values. We employ local guides and use local businesses and see this as reinvesting in the communities that support us.

At PATH we have built our corporate philosophy on the foundations of these three pillars of sustainability and we take great care to integrate sustainable practices into everything we do.

“We create travel experiences for people who want to experience Southeast Asia, responsibly.”

Dan Moore

Managing Director, Path Destination Management

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