Sustainability: Very good news for our environment. According to the evaluation of the occupancy figures for the Urlaubs-Express car trains since January 2022, around 11 million road kilometres have been saved. All passengers who travelled stress-free to their holiday destination by car train have made a huge contribution to the preservation of our environment and sustainable travel.

Sustainable travel – for our environment

Soft tourism, environmentally and socially responsible travel, sustainable holidays. You read these and other buzzwords when it comes to holidays. Our travel habits have an obvious impact on the planet and the growing concern for our environment due to the negative effects of tourism has raised awareness for more sustainable travel.

But what is actually soft tourism? The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) defines this as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and ecosystem impacts, responding to the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and the host community.” According to the UNWTO, sustainable tourism can not only lead to a more beautiful travel experience. It helps create jobs, improve the well-being of local people and protect nature and culture. For these reasons, it is important that tourists critically question their destinations. Europeans who want to spend a few weeks on the beach may not have to fly to the Caribbean, but can instead take the train to a less visited place on the Mediterranean. If you want to climb mountains, you may not have to go to Nepal, but can take the Urlaubs-Express to beautiful Tyrol.

Travel and sustainability – is it possible to combine them?

TheTourism, like all other human activities, has an impact on the environment. The concepts of tourism and sustainability will always be in competition with each other and cannot be fully united. Travellers should be aware that there is no such thing as a perfect, low-impact journey. But they can make it as sustainable as possible – for the environment as well as for the local economy and culture. Of course, this also includes the journey. Those who travel with the Urlaubs-Express are already taking the first step towards a more environmentally friendly holiday. In long-distance transport, bus and rail have significantly lower CO2-emissions per person and trip than a car or even a plane. Touring coaches emit 30 grams of CO2, long-distance rail transport produces about 40 grams – the car produces 137 grams of CO2.

What does it actually mean…?

Soft tourism

is a form of tourism that does as little damage as possible to the nature it visits, experiences nature as closely and originally as possible and adapts as much as possible to the culture of the country visited.

Ecological footprint

is a scientific calculation of how much humans burden nature through their lifestyle. This includes what someone needs to live, what they buy, how they live and what they produce in terms of waste and emissions.

Tourism Seal

There are more than 150 tourism labels worldwide that are intended to contribute to sustainable development in the travel industry. Important seals are for example TourCert, EU Ecolabel, Green Globe, Viabono, EarthCheck and others.

Photos: Bopp, Adobe Stock/Halfpoint