The confinement and travel restrictions triggered a change in attitude in many of us, especially in relation to our relationship with the outside world. For many, waiting for the right moment to regain confidence and return to our travels and activities was a day that slowly dragged on. Health, fun and the need to disconnect a little was bringing us back to the forest, the deserts, the mountains and the trails.
The nature closest to us has welcomed us again and hiking, mountaineering and outdoor activities are back like never before. However, this has brought with it a series of questions regarding our footprint and environmental responsibility.
Picnics, climbs, campsites, exercise and activities on territories where very particular flora and fauna usually inhabit today demand active care and protection on our part, if what we want is to preserve incredible landscapes and unique outdoor experiences.
For José González, hiker guide and founder of Latin Outdoors, an organization that generates community and awareness through foreign activities, Latin American culture and diversity in the United States, the issue of our footprint in these spaces is not minor nor can it be postponed too long, as “(…) we are breaking the cycle natural. You can see it with climate change. For this reason, in the activities that we carry out, the most important thing is to be able to connect with the importance and greatness of the environment. Nature is our ancestral roots, there is a lot of information and tools in it that can help us heal. I think modern civilization is realizing the damage it is doing. Going out to enjoy the natural outdoors is to remember that we are part of a life regeneration cycle”.
In his report entitled “To Recovery & Beyond: The Future of Travel & Tourism in the Wake of Covid-19″, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), within the four main trends that will shape the tourism of the future, highlights sustainability as one of the most important and strategic, where the preservation and active participation of all actors involved in outdoor adventures will be crucial in order to preserve these spaces for future generations.
Behind obligatory and recurring actions such as collecting and separating garbage, not altering the wildlife of the ecosystem that we visit or raising awareness of the way in which our presence can affect that natural cycle that José González tells us about, there is a change of vision, where respect, observation and reciprocity are an inherent part of the current context, inside and outside of nature.
Jorge Olvera, founder of the international project around outdoor adventure with a social focus World Lineage, the foreign adventure must always be accompanied by awareness, respect and empathy towards everything that is outside of us. What he calls “the other”.
“Nature sometimes goes against the global dynamics of the market (travel agencies), against what homogenized tourism sometimes irresponsibly sells us. We as travelers must be more responsible, open our eyes and see the biocultural value of the environment. We have to go in and look at the environment with a critical eye, look at the secondary impacts and take charge. Nature always implies respect for everything else”.
Although the road ahead may seem uncertain, after the bloodiest months of Covid-19, trends such as themed forest-spas to alleviate health conditions, glamping or camping-boutique hotels, as well as a boom in natural experiences, mountain and hiking have had an increase among its followers. This also tells us about consideration for the environment, in addition to the creation of communities that have gradually been working together.
As in the case of Jorge Olvera and José González, who, in addition to serving as experienced guides, provide inspiration and guidance, transmit their knowledge and passion for nature, trusting that the actions taken today are vital components for sustainability and resilience. long-term within travel, tourism and outdoor activities.
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