What is regenerative travel, the next evolution in eco-travel?
With the arrival of the pandemic, our lives and industries have faced a massive shift, potentially the biggest global shift we’ll experience in our lives. Although the world’s current state has impacted countless industries, from healthcare to home rentals, it’s fair to say that tourism was faced some of the biggest hurdles.
The pause has given us in the industry time to think. Not only about how we can survive economically but how we can shift our perspectives to something more far-reaching and ultimately important, and that is the environment, enter 2021’s newest buzzword and one of our greatest hopes for the future, ‘regenerative travel.’
What is ‘regenerative travel’?
The term’ regenerative travel’ is the ideology of not just ensuring that our travelling behaviours are sustainable, but implementing different ideas, experiences and opportunities to ensure that where we travel is actually beneficial to the place we visit, rather than just ‘not harmful.’
The term received widespread attention thanks to a recent piece titled ‘Move Over, Sustainable Travel. Regenerative Travel Has Arrived.’ In the piece, journalist Elaine Glusac describes regenerative travel succinctly, saying, “[If] sustainable tourism, which aims to counterbalance the social and environmental impacts associated with travel, was the aspirational outer limit of ecotourism before the pandemic, the new frontier is “regenerative travel,” or leaving a place better than you found it.” It goes beyond just covering your tracks, but rather making the track more beautiful for the next visitors.
Why are we talking about it now?
We’re talking about it for a few reasons, each of them coming from their unique perspective. The growing awareness and accessibility for being an eco-conscious traveller is one. The other is of course, the pandemic. After 2020 travel won’t be the same. While airlines may never be as cheap as they were, many predict that there will be an expanding interest in slow travel, travel with a purpose and a message.
The recent world events are a good opportunity to do away with the numbers because they have not existed in large part over the past 12 months. This means that when travel starts to kick off again, everyone is on a more even playing field, vying against others for customers not over price but over social and environmental consciousness, because these days many consumers expect more than just from their most loved companies, a feeling of alignment in ideology is key.
So, what is Selo Group doing?
As long-term passionate advocates for environmentally conscientious travel, the more comprehensive discussion and interest in regenerative travel is inspiring and motivating for us. It encourages us to not only rely on our recognition as a sustainable business but step up to the plate to become a proudly regenerative tourism business. One of our upcoming developments in this field is the creation of our new Ecological Park, a project aimed at promoting a positive message both to our guests and the local community. The Ecological Park will be located directly behind the Selong Selo Resort & Residences and contain infrastructure across over 147 hectares, to be traversed by foot, bike, and even horseback. The Park will showcase our efforts at employing the local community, ecologically-friendly tourism, construction practices, and promoting reforestation.
We’re also developing a nursery that will grow local native species for agroforestry, and this nursery will be female run so as to help set a precedent of gender equality within Lombok, and beyond. Local women will receive education and training on land management and supporting agroforestry techniques, giving them equal opportunity to be involved in the managerial process.
Utilizing biomass gasification technology and the power of solar are two other ways we’re staying true to our claims of environmental action. Our prefabricated homes offer customers the chance to add affordable solar panels to their homes, while when it comes to your coffee, Selong Selo sources the beans raw and unprocessed, then dry and roast on-site using biomass gasification technology, by using rice husks, a by-product of local farming, to generate clean gas fuel. Also, while prefabricated houses are already more environmentally sustainable, we also recycle over 97% of our construction waste.
By both producing new energy and getting rid of waste in a sustainable way, we’re moving forward with our efforts, but it’s not just about being good enough, it’s about doing better, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.