5 Sustainably-Run Tourism Attractions From Around The World

From imparting education on climate change to running solar-powered trains, these places are paving the way for other hospitality players to incorporate sustainable tourism into their operations
The Azurmendi Restaurant is a three-starred Michelin restaurant in Spain
The Azurmendi Restaurant is a three-starred Michelin restaurant in SpainFlickr: OlgafromSpain

As travellers become increasingly aware of the planetary impact that tourism can have, many of them are going beyond simply finding the most affordable and comfortable way of travelling, and looking instead on how their presence at a given location affects its landscape and environment. Their hearts (and wallets) are in the right place and such efforts should be commended and encouraged.

We decided to put together a list of five tourist spots around the world that are pursuing sustainable and innovative methods which affect the living world positively.

Climate Museum, New York City, United States Of America

Inside The Climate Musuem pop-up in Soho
Inside The Climate Musuem pop-up in SohoCopyright: Sari Goodfriend for The Climate Museum

A first-of-its-kind nonprofit organisation, the Climate Museum is dedicated to covering climate breakdown and its solutions in the United States. If you are a conscious traveller who's eager to understand climate issues, build connections and create a positive impact, then a visit to this museum is a must.

The museum's mission is to 'inspire action on the climate crisis with programming across the arts and sciences that deepens understanding, builds connections, and advances just solutions'. It organizes free exhibitions, youth events and other public programs at its seasonal exhibition hub on Governors Island, in public spaces citywide and through virtual events.

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, Cape Town, South Africa

The view from the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway
The view from the Table Mountain Aerial CablewayWikimedia Commons: Fazielah Williams

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Cape Town with approximately a million visitors a year, the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway offers visitors a five-minute ride to the top of the Table Mountain plateau. Interestingly, the cableway has been carbon-neutral since 2016 and maintains one of the most cohesive responsible tourism policies, with careful water management and waste reduction practices in place.

Byron Solar Train, Byron Bay, Australia

The solar panels sit on the roof of the Byron Solar Train
The solar panels sit on the roof of the Byron Solar TrainFlickr: Julian Santos cunha

Connecting the three kilometre coastal track between Byron Town Centre and Byron Arts Estate, the Byron Solar Train is the world's first solar-powered train. You can either relax on vintage lounge seats in the first-class carriage or chat with fellow passengers in coach while getting an amazing view of the Littoral Rainforests and Belongil Creek.

Azurmendi Restaurant, Larrabetzu, Spain

The Azurmendi Restaurant
The Azurmendi RestaurantFlickr: Kent Wang

This three-starred Michelin restaurant has twice won the sustainable restaurant award in the World's 50 Best Restaurants list by British company William Reed Ltd. The space mixes architectural elements with the natural world and the restaurant harnesses solar and geothermal energy for cooking and operational purposes. Guests can tour the on-site greenhouse and vegetable gardens.

Tij Observatory, Stellendam, Netherlands

The Tij Observatory
The Tij ObservatoryCopyright: Birdingplaces Team

Taking inspiration from a tern's egg, Tij Observatory is a splendid bird-watching observatory in the Scheelhoek nature reserve. It is built out of sustainable wood and clad in thatched reeds. The observatory can be reached via a tunnel built from recycled bulkheads which minimises disturbances for birds. The end point of walking around the observatory terminates at a egg-shaped bird hide from where you can view hatching terns and all the other species that live in and around the water.

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