Luftaufnahme Palawan Meer und Strand

Due to the corona crisis, which hit the tourism sector hardest, some “remember” sustainable travel or ask themselves how big their own carbon footprint really is and how sustainable travel is possible.

Headings such as "Corona ensures the relaxation of nature" or articles that the canals of Venice are as blue and clear as never before, let us once again become aware of the immense influence we as travelers have on Earth. Metro Manila also shows itself without a cloudy sky, the fine dust content in the air has decreased extremely.

Don't get me wrong, the debate about sustainable travel has not only existed since Corona, but for many, many years, but it is coming to the fore. We all want to travel again as soon as possible. Me too! But how far have you dealt with the topic of sustainable travel? Here's a little digression with tips on how to make your vacation in the Philippines as sustainable as possible.

Sustainable tourism in the Philippines?

There are some countries, towns and regions that have committed themselves to sustainable tourism. And in fact the Philippines is one of them. Sustainability has become a key concept in tourism in the Philippines. The tourism association is sending a clear signal, especially with the #morefunforever and #SOS campaigns. High standards are set, the population is informed and motivated to get involved. The closure of Boracay, with new regulations today, was the big start. There are many small projects taking place all over the Philippines. Other tourist attractions such as the Sugba Lagoon or the Rock Pools are opened every year Siargao locked to provide some regeneration. Siargao is considered THE sustainable island in the Philippines anyway.

Of course, a third world country like the Philippines is not a global pioneer, but quite far ahead in Southeast Asia. This is certainly also due to the fact that, unlike in Thailand or Indonesia, there is no comparable mass tourism in the Philippines.

So here is mine little digression which offers you an initial introduction, answers any questions and could change your actions in future trips.

Air Travel - 90% of the emissions from your entire trip

Starting with the distance to the travel destination, it is clear to everyone that a regional holiday within your own country by bus, train, ferry or car first generates the lowest CO2 emissions. Of course, this is not possible for long-distance trips. If you don't want to spend your vacation in your own country, take the flight. There is no way around it and as long as airplanes are operated with kerosene, an air journey already creates up to 90% of emissions for your entire trip.

There are now some providers with whom you can Compensate for flights can. For example the NGO Atmosfair or the foundation myclimate make it possible. The providers calculate how much greenhouse gases are emitted by the flight and how much it would cost to save them elsewhere. The compensation then flows into sustainable projects. This means not only reforestation of the rainforest, but also the development of renewable energies such as wind power plants or projects that provide training on environmentally friendly behavior. It is not just about saving greenhouse gases, but also about sustainably improving living conditions and understanding among the population.

Of course, all this does not mean that you can now fly more often due to the compensation, but can only compensate for a part and realize that the price of flying goes beyond the cost of air tickets. I think that if you have money for a long-distance trip, you can also spend a few euros more on the Co2 compensation. Traveling is a privilege and carries a certain responsibility. We should always be aware of this.

Travel slowly, but more sustainable

The further the destination country is from your home country, the longer your vacation should last. Anyone who flies halfway around the world should not only do this for a 1-week vacation. If you want to travel to several countries in Asia, then connect the countries with each other and extend your vacation timeinstead of booking a long-haul flight twice.

Your local movement also has a significant impact. Domestic flights should be avoided. If possible use ferries, boats or coaches. In the Philippines in particular, many islands can be easily reached by ferry and coaches take you from big cities to the provinces. Sometimes it takes a little longer, but we have learned to travel slowly 😉 Find out here more about transportation within the Philippines.

Recycling? Your handling of garbage, plastic, drinking water and electricity

The handling of plastic is of course an enormous influence. Of course, this applies to at home, but especially when traveling. Because recycling or deposit are almost foreign words, especially in distant countries. Avoid disposable plastic whenever possible.

Tip: take two jute bags from home, go shopping with them at local markets and use them as a carrier bag. You can also give these to the laundry service, for example

The topic of drinking water goes hand in hand with plastic. Tap water is usually not filtered water and is not suitable for drinking. There is drinking water in every store around the corner, but always from plastic bottles. So get yourself one Water bottle eg from Clanteen. This not only cools / warms your drink longer, but can also be reuse. There are “refill stations” where you can refill your bottles inexpensively, many accommodations already offer this service and at airports these stations are often free of charge.

In general, the following also applies save on natural and vital resources and electricity. You don't have to shower for 10 minutes every day, change your towel every day, and turn on the Aircon in the evening to cool down, that's enough.

Everyone counts, including you! Join Clean Up's

If plastic cannot be avoided, make sure that you dispose of it properly. This also applies to other people's garbage, don't just ignore it. When you arrive at the next waterfall or beach and take a short walk, you can simply dispose of the visible garbage.

Get involved Clean Ups. If you don't want to collect the garbage alone as in the above point, then maybe as a group. Find out in advance or when you arrive for clean ups, ask at the local tourist offices or the locals. In the Philippines in particular, there is a long list of organizations that you can visit and support, as well as daily beach cleanups.

Check it out here, right at the ICC Philippines or at Marine Conservation PH

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Don't forget to support the local population

Let the local people participate. Sustainability not only means protecting the environment and species, but also social justice. For example, you can book accommodation led by locals, the same applies to tour operators and guides. Make sure that small shops benefit or the local waiter gets his tip. You will also notice that the more you surround yourself with the locals, the more authentic your experience in the country will be. It is all the better to know that your money really arrives in the country and among the population.

The same applies to the Tour operators on site. Is your tour guide a local? How are the tours organized? What are the online ratings like? You can also ask the provider what the company contributes to the community. Usually, however, also means that the cheaper product is usually not sustainable. We know that, but we often follow “avarice is cool”…

Choose yours accommodation carefully. A 4-star concrete bunker with a 24/7 heated infinity pool is mostly unsustainable unless you choose specially classified ones Eco Hotels. I don't mean to say that you should book the last stay or just eco-lodges, but I think a good mediocrity is appropriate.  Ask yourself the following questions: Is the staff local? Does the Aircon run all the time? How is the accommodation cooked, i.e. only imported goods or local dishes? If you decide on the luxury variant, check whether the accommodation is really excellent or simply called "Eco".

fresh fruits-support locals in philippines-

Your handling of animals

In many places around the world, animals are useful objects or profitable for the tourist business. You should pay particular attention to every leisure activity with animals assess, do research and read reviews.  The best example for the Philippines is that Swimming with whale sharks. Oslob on Cebu is best known for this, but I do not recommend it under any circumstances; no I even advise against it! Animals are fed and touched. Dozens of boats come out every day so that a large number of tourists can jump into the sea with life jackets and GoPro. More sustainable alternative: swimming with whale sharks in Donsol.

The following applies to tours on and in the water: animals, whether small fish, turtle or large whale shark, are not touched, corals are not touched, broken off or stood on! This can not only lead to bad infections, but also prevents what the corals grow.

giant whaleshark

I hope I was able to give you some helpful tips so that you can soon go on a more sustainable trip.


I look forward to your comments and feedback!

All the best,

your Nathalie

5 Comments. Leave new

  • Avatar

    Thanks for promoting philippines tourism and culture…let’s hope after pandemic that we can explore the new philippines.

    • Mabuhay Travel Club
      Mabuhay Travel Club

      yaay! yes, pleeeease 😀

  • Avatar

    Nicely written and done my friend!
    I’ve just started writing a bpog myself recently and realized many people merely rework
    old content but add very little of benefit. It’s good to read aan infoprmative write-up
    of some true value to your readers and I.
    It’s on the lisst of things I need to replicate as a neww blogger.

    Audience engagement and content quality are king.
    Manny awesome ideas; you have absolutely managed to get on my list of blogs to watch!

    Continue the fantastiic work!

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    • Mabuhay Travel Club
      Mabuhay Travel Club

      Hi Raymond!
      Thank you very much for your nicely comment. Means a lot to me and this is exactly my goal! Giving value to the people and making travelling to the Philippines more easy. Looking forward to hear from you!
      Next blogposts are in the pipeline and are just about the be released.
      Sending my best regards and stay healthy

  • 这个不错耶,我喜欢!


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