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Source: Ethan Gelber

Sustainable travel means connecting directly with local people

What Is Sustainable Travel: A Primer

By Ethan Gelber

Travelers say it a lot: What does it really mean to travel sustainably?

One working definition – this one advanced by the United Nations World Tourism Organization – is that sustainable tourism “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.”

Like many high-level concepts churned through the machinery of international bureaucracy, this may come across as unnecessarily weighty and complex. So let's boil it down into a quartet of simple and easy human actions.

Source: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Sustainable travel means being sensitive to the local environment