2017 is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism.

2017 has been declared as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the United Nations, which should promote a change in politics, business practices and customer behaviour to foster a more sustainable tourism sector.

Sustainable tourism is committed to the environment and to the autochthonous culture, seeking to produce the least possible impact on these, while at the same time contributing to generating income and employment for the local population.

The World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as: “Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities“.

This commemoration is a great opportunity to analyse how tourism is affected by climate change, to advance in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the sector, and to increase efforts at adapting to the inevitable impacts of global warming.

Every year, more than one billion tourists travel across the world, generating jobs and resources for millions of people. Tourism is a crucial sector for the economies of developed and developing countries both on a local and national level.

Having a stable climate is fundamental for the correct development of tourism, above all other sectors of activity. The tourism sector is suffering the increasingly serious effects of climate change, such as storms, heat waves, droughts, a rising sea level that threatens coastal resorts and a lack of snow that is affecting ski stations.

The World Tourism Organization deems that “tourism is responsible for 5 percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Of this percentage, the carbon footprint of hotel establishments makes up 20% of the total, including heating and air conditioning, refrigeration in bars, restaurants and heated swimming pools.”

Transport for tourism reasons whether by plane, car or train generates the sector’s largest percentage of emissions.  It is important to point out that transport emissions can be reduced by prioritising the use of trains for continental journeys.

We need to become aware and act to improve all the negative aspects affecting those of us who work in the tourism sector, with each of us making a commitment to our future.

I wish you all a very happy holiday period. We’ll be back in September!

Carme Balliu.


Let’s go Glamping!

The camping sector is growing year by year and for some time now there has been interest in Glamping, the subject of this post.

Glamping or glamorous camping is a growing trend worldwide. It combines open-air camping with the luxury and comfort found in the best hotels. The expression, coined in the early years of this century, is a combination of the words “glamour” and “camping”.

Glamping is a new trend that allows holidaymakers to enjoy nature with all the amenities of a hotel, making it possible to enjoy both camping and glamour.

Tree-top houses, yurts, teepees, domes, igloos, cabooses, barns, eco-pods, luxury caravans and safari tents are among the many glamping options available. Let’s take a brief look at each of them.

Tree houses aren’t just for children! Constructed on the branches of a tree, a tree house is a wooden structure that uses the shape of the trunk and the strongest branches to support a platform.

Yurts were traditionally used as shelter from the long cold winters in Mongolia. They have a broad cylindrical base and are constructed using expanding wooden lattice wall sections.

Teepees, originally used by nomadic tribes in America, are a simple but ingenious combination of a few construction elements. The framework consists of a number of poles forming a triangular structure tied together at the top.

Domes are modern constructions that may be built using a combination of materials such as wood, iron and steel or high-tech fabrics such as high-resistance PVC-polyester.

Igloos are dome-shaped dwellings, originally built with blocks of snow by the Inuit, the indigenous inhabitants of the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada and the United States.

Cabooses were used as accommodation on trains in the past. They were attached to the end of a freight train and served many purposes, including shelter for the crew and other passengers.

Barns were originally farm buildings used to store hay or grain and house animals such as cows, pigs, chickens and horses. Today, however, some have been restored and refurbished to provide luxury accommodation.

Eco-pods are the latest glamping option. Made of wood, they use local, natural or recycled materials throughout. They provide excellent protection against wind and rain and offer a cosy, welcoming atmosphere inside.

The concept of the safari tent can probably be traced back hundreds of years. Kings, nomads, hunters and tourists have all made use of this practical, portable accommodation. Today safari tents are the main type of accommodation used for luxury safaris in Africa.

Glamping on water implies either a structure floating directly on water or one supported above the surface on columns or pillars. It may be an anchored houseboat, a yacht or a floating cabin.

Who chooses this type of holiday?  65% of those using this type of accommodation and its followers on social networks are women aged 25 to 45. They are the ones who usually make the decision to try this type of experience.

The popularity of this type of holiday shows that camping in the heart of nature is not incompatible with a sophisticated lifestyle.

How about giving it a try this summer?