Here’s the thing: while we absolutely love travel, and Abraham Hostels & Tours was founded by backpackers, for backpackers, we know that travel can potentially carry negative impacts. These include potential harm to the environment and the communities that travelers love so dearly. That’s why we here at Abraham have made it part of our mission to not only take a stance for causes that we believe in, but also to design our hostels and tours in ways that help spread the positive impacts of travel, while reducing any of that potential harm.
A big way that we want to help encourage and enable all travelers to become responsible tourists is through our tours. Not only do we have incredible tours for travelers in every category imaginable, we also offer an array of socially responsible tours. But we’ll get into that a little bit later. First, let’s dive into exactly how the habits of travelers have changed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and exactly how people are looking to become responsible tourists.
Responsible Tourism Trends
We don’t have to guess how the habits of travelers have changed, because we actually have a lot of data on the subject. We’ve learned that travelers are looking to be responsible tourists when it comes to areas like the environment, and the communities they visit. The European Travel Commission, along with the tourism marketing company Mindhaus, conducted a bunch of market research into the habits of European travelers, and published an extensive report on the subject. This research was conducted from September 2020 to February 2021, and shows just how interested people are in responsible and sustainable travel. It’s also important to point out that this research about responsible tourism is specifically related to the attitudes of European travelers.
There are a few big takeaways from this research. Here’s what we learned:
Carbon Footprint Changes
We know that travel can leave a huge carbon footprint, for several reasons. Air travel contributes to carbon pollution, and many other aspects of travel are incredibly taxing on the environment. But in the wake of the pandemic, many travelers are now interested in being a responsible tourist when it comes to the environmental impact of travel. 3 out of 5 people surveyed are now willing to take fewer trips, and spend more time in one place. This is significant, because 75% of tourism CO2 emissions result from transportation, according to the report.
Changes to Communities
Travelers have a big impact on the communities they visit, but now, more people are interested in the ways their travels relate to the communities they visit. Over 1 in 3 people who were surveyed are willing to spend more money to make responsible travel choices, benefiting local communities in both social and economic terms.
The pandemic led to increased awareness about crowds, and the potential harm of visiting very crowded tourist destinations. Now, 44% of respondents say they will consider off-season travel and 32% are willing to spend more money in order to visit less crowded destinations. Many people said they also plan to travel more in the off-season.
Desire to Host
Travelers don’t only want to go places, but they also want to see more tourists and visitors in their own communities. More than 40% of people surveyed say they want to have more tourists visit their community or country.
Abraham and Responsible Tourism
There are a lot of things about Abraham Hostels & Tours that you may not realize. Sure, our hostels are awesome and our tours are top-tier, but our inner workings go far beyond that. The Abraham Group is dedicated to ensuring the impacts of our tourism are encouraging positive change in the environment and society, which is why we created our Impact Model.
The Impact Model was developed to try to tackle different global and local crises in the areas that we influence, such as the environment, the economy, society, and our employees. A big aspect to our Impact Model is sustainable and responsible tourism. It outlines exactly how we are dedicated to reducing the negative environmental impacts of tourism and addressing the climate crisis, through sustainable and responsible tourism. It also identifies how we’re working to positively impact our society, through ways such as our multicultural and dual-narrative tours, and through arts & culture as a means of social activism.
Abraham’s Socially Responsible Tours
There’s great news if you too are looking to be a responsible tourist, and travel in a way that has a positive impact on the environment and communities you visit. We here at Abraham offer plenty of tours and experiences for responsible tourists all over Israel. Here are some of the incredible tours we offer that are perfect for the responsible tourist:
- Taste of Nazareth with Maoz Inon – Maoz Inon is not only one of the founding members of the Abraham Group, but he also founded the Fauzi Azar By Abraham in Nazareth, which ultimately became the first branch of one of the four Abraham Hostels. Nazarath has incredible significance across several religions, and is rich with history and culture. During this tour, Maoz himself will take travelers through Nazareth, introducing them to the thriving entrepreneurship scene. During the tour, the participants meet some of the remarkable women who are part of the revival of the city.
- Meet the Ultra-Orthodox Jews: The ultra-orthodox Jewish community is a vibrant part of Israeli culture, and we offer tours into the ultra-orthodox communities in Jerusalem and Bnei-Brak. These tours give you an amazing opportunity to meet the members of these communities directly, and to get to know their unique way of living.
- Rahat’s Entrepreneurial Women: Rahat is the biggest Bedouin city in Israel, but unfortunately, the Bedouin community is often neglected by the government, and suffers because of it. During this tour, participants will meet some of the brave women that try to change their reality and improve their lives despite intense difficulties.
- West Bank Tours & Gaza Border Reality tour: We offer tours to the West Bank, such as our Hebron Dual Narrative tour, and to the border with Gaza. These dual-narrative tours aim to achieve a major goal of our Impact Model, which is to promote tolerance, assist in neutralizing prejudices, and build new bridges between people and communities. These tours give travelers the opportunity to meet local people involved in the different sides of these complex realities, and learn about the dynamics and conflicts firsthand.
The Future of Responsible Tourism
Remember that report we mentioned, about the changes in the attitudes of travelers? While the pandemic brought about many difficulties and challenges to the global tourism industry, and change can sometimes be tough, we here at Abraham Hostels & Tours are incredibly excited about the interest in sustainable and responsible tourism.
With the attitudes of travelers changing, we see this as an incredible opportunity to experience travel in a way that is responsible. Responsible tourists can support local host communities, can travel to pristine and off-the-beaten-path locations for more crowd-free travel, and can look to travel in the off-season to alleviate crowds.Visitors spending longer amounts of time in one place can ultimately have a much more immersive experience and lessen the load on the environment. And lastly, responsible tourists can look for “green upgrades,” for example, choosing to take part in environmental projects or participating in carbon offsetting programs.
When we travel more responsibly, that means that there’s less of a negative impact on the planet and environment, and more of a positive impact on communities and people. And when it comes down to it, the planet and the people on it are some of the main things that we love about travel in the first place.
To learn more about the tours we offer, head over to our Tours page. You can also find information about our hostels in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Eilat, and find more helpful posts on our blog.