Sustainable tourism in Austria
FACT: Austria is one of the world’s best destinations for sustainable tourism, as recently recognised in the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report.
?When it comes to the environment,? says Alfred Strigl, deputy director of the Austrian Institute for Sustainability, ?Austrians are top of Europe and top of the world.? ?We have a broad traditional knowledge of natural topics that comes from a conservative way of life ? the farmers, hunters and forest men ? that has been handed down from generation to generation. We know how to read the landscapes. We know about the cycle of life, to listen to the wind and to pay attention to the seasons and the way the herbs grow, the birds, the mushrooms and so on.?
?Seventy per cent of our power comes from alternative energy,? he says. ?And 60 per cent of all waste is recycled. We are a recycling world master. It?s been like this for ten years, and there?s not much more we can do to make it better.?
But when it comes to eco-tourism, Austria?s deep-rooted environmental awareness has perhaps let the country down. While other destinations have been quick to tell the world about their latest sustainable tourism initiatives, Austrians haven?t felt compelled to emphasise what has always been an inherent part of their lives. In fact, those who have not yet visited the country might not even know that Austria is one of the world?s best destinations for sustainable tourism, as recently recognised in the World Economic Forum?s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report.
This in a time when the tourism industry faces big challenges as it depends on transportation and is highly dependent on resources and energy in many other regards.