India’s first state to launch ​Regenerative Tourism

Sustainable tourism and Regenerative tourism share the overarching goal of ​minimizing the negative impacts of tourism on the environment, local communities, ​and cultures.

However, they differ in their specific approaches and ultimate objectives.

Key distinctions between

Sustainable tourism & Regenerative tourism

Philosophy ​and ​Approach

Sustainable Tourism

Regenerative Tourism

This approach seeks to ​maintain the status quo by ​balancing economic, social, ​and environmental ​considerations. It aims to meet ​the needs of the present ​without compromising the ​ability of future generations to ​meet their own needs. ​Sustainable tourism focuses ​on minimizing negative ​impacts and often involves ​conservation, responsible ​resource use, and community ​engagement.

In contrast, regenerative tourism ​goes beyond sustainability by ​actively seeking to improve and ​restore ecosystems, ​communities, and cultures. The ​regenerative approach aims to ​leave a positive impact, ​contributing to the well-being of ​destinations and fostering ​resilience. It emphasizes the ​restoration and revitalization of ​natural and cultural assets.

Creative Divide Line

Local ​Community ​Engagement

Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable tourism typically ​involves community ​engagement and benefit-​sharing, ensuring that local ​communities benefit ​economically and socially from ​tourism. However, the focus ​may be on maintaining a ​balance rather than actively ​contributing to community ​empowerment and ​regeneration.

Regenerative Tourism

Regenerative tourism places a ​strong emphasis on community ​empowerment and participation. ​It seeks to involve local ​communities in decision-making ​processes, encourages ​entrepreneurship, and aims to ​leave a lasting positive impact on ​the social fabric of destinations.

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Environmental ​Conservation

Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable tourism aims to ​minimize the environmental ​impact of travel and tourism ​activities. This may include ​practices such as responsible ​waste management, energy ​conservation, and biodiversity ​protection.

Regenerative Tourism

Regenerative tourism not only ​minimizes negative impacts but ​actively works towards restoring ​and enhancing ecosystems. This ​approach may involve ​reforestation projects, habitat ​restoration, and other initiatives ​aimed at improving the overall ​health of natural environments.

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Cultural ​Preservation

Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable tourism ​recognizes the importance of ​preserving local cultures and ​traditions. Efforts are made to ​ensure that tourism activities ​do not lead to cultural erosion ​or exploitation.

Regenerative Tourism

Regenerative tourism takes ​cultural preservation a step ​further by actively contributing to ​the revitalization of local cultures. ​This may involve supporting ​traditional arts and crafts, ​promoting cultural exchanges, ​and actively engaging tourists in ​meaningful interactions with local ​communities.

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Long-Term ​Impact

Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable tourism seeks to ​maintain a balance over the ​long term, ensuring that the ​impacts of tourism do not ​compromise the well-being of ​future generations.

Regenerative Tourism

Regenerative tourism goes ​beyond maintaining a balance; it ​strives to leave destinations ​better off than before. The ​ultimate goal is to contribute ​positively to the regeneration of ​ecosystems, communities, and ​cultures, creating a lasting and ​positive legacy.

Tourism has long been a double-edged sword, contributing to economic development ​while often causing environmental degradation and cultural erosion. In recent years, a ​paradigm shift towards more sustainable practices has emerged, and one such ​approach gaining prominence is regenerative tourism. Unlike conventional tourism, ​which may exploit natural resources and local cultures, regenerative tourism seeks to ​restore and revitalize destinations, leaving them better off than before.

Principles of Regenerative Tourism

Community ​Empowerment

Regenerative tourism prioritizes local ​communities by involving them in ​decision-making processes and ​ensuring they benefit economically ​and socially from tourism. This ​approach fosters a sense of ownership ​among residents, leading to more ​responsible tourism practices.

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Preservation of Natural ​Resources

Instead of depleting natural resources, ​regenerative tourism aims to enhance ​and protect them. Sustainable ​practices, such as responsible waste ​management, energy conservation, ​and biodiversity preservation, help ​minimize the environmental footprint of ​tourism activities.

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Cultural Respect and ​Preservation

Regenerative tourism values and ​respects local cultures, seeking to ​preserve traditions and heritage. ​Engaging with communities in a ​meaningful way, promoting cultural ​exchanges, and supporting local ​artisans are integral to this approach.

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Holistic Planning and ​Development

Regenerative tourism involves ​comprehensive planning that ​considers the long-term impact of ​tourism on all aspects of a destination​—environmental, social, and ​economic. Sustainable infrastructure ​development and land-use planning ​are crucial components.

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Beach Sunset


of Regenerative Tourism

beach in Maldives

Economic Resilience

By involving local communities in ​tourism initiatives, regenerative ​tourism contributes to economic ​resilience. Income generated from ​tourism is more evenly distributed, ​creating a more stable and ​sustainable economic foundation for ​communities.

Beach Paradise Landscape


of Regenerative Tourism

Caribbean Beach Sunset

Environmental Conservation

Through sustainable practices and a ​commitment to conservation, ​regenerative tourism helps protect ​ecosystems and biodiversity. This ​ensures that the natural attractions ​that draw tourists remain intact for ​future generations.

Beautiful Beach View


of Regenerative Tourism

Beach During Sunset

Cultural Enrichment

Regenerative tourism supports ​cultural preservation, fostering pride ​and a sense of identity among local ​communities. This not only benefits ​residents but also provides a richer ​and more authentic experience for ​tourists.

People on Beach


of Regenerative Tourism

View Photography of Beach Resort

Social Inclusivity

This approach encourages inclusive ​and responsible tourism, making ​destinations accessible to a broader ​range of travellers. By breaking down ​barriers, regenerative tourism ​promotes diversity and inclusivity ​within the tourism industry.

Challenges and Future Prospects

While regenerative tourism presents a promising path towards sustainable travel, ​challenges such as resistance to change, lack of awareness, and the need for ​coordinated efforts among stakeholders remain. Governments, businesses, and ​tourists alike must actively participate in fostering a regenerative approach to tourism. ​The future of travel lies in our ability to prioritize regenerative practices, creating a ​harmonious balance between economic development and environmental and cultural ​preservation.


Five priorities of the Goa Tourism Roadmap ​that are woven into regenerative tourism.

Priority 1

Green ​tourism

Greening the ​tourism sector ​for a ​sustainable, ​responsible ​and resilient ​tourism sector

Priority 2


Harnessing the power ​of digitalization to ​promote ​competitiveness, ​inclusion and ​sustainability in the ​tourism sector

Priority 3


Empowering ​youth with ​skills for jobs ​and ​entrepreneurs​hip in the ​tourism sector

Priority 4

Tourism ​MSMEs

Nurturing ​tourism MSMEs, ​startups and the ​private sector to ​unleash ​innovation and ​dynamism in the ​tourism sector

Priority 5

Destination ​management

Rethinking the ​strategic ​management of ​destinations ​towards a holistic ​approach that ​delivers on the ​SDGs.

Beach chairs with umbrella and sand beach in summer.

To help framing the relationship between ​tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals ​(SDGs) in the development of the current ​Roadmap, a survey among G20 members and ​guest countries was conducted. The answers ​helped to identify the SDGs which tourism was ​considered to impact the most:


SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth;

SDG 9: Industry, innovation, and infrastructure;

SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities;

SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production;

SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals.

A set of ten cross-cutting key enablers have been identified by the Goa Tourism ​Roadmap based on a systems level analysis of recommendations from reports, surveys, ​case studies and best practices shared by practitioners across the tourism sector.

1. Working towards climate action and environmental ​protection and related international cooperation;

2. Equitable economic models to promote inclusive ​tourism and empower vulnerable groups, such as youth, ​women, Indigenous Peoples and persons with ​disabilities;

3. Sustained public-private-community partnerships, ​including employers’ and workers’ organizations, to ​develop more innovative and sustainable tourism ​initiatives;

4. Visitors as key stakeholders to help transform the ​sector towards sustainability;

5. Holistic destination management to help the sector ​adapt to today’s challenges;

6. Upskilling, reskilling and new skilling tourism actors, ​focussing on vulnerable groups (such as youth, women, ​Indigenous Peoples and persons with disabilities), as ​well as MSMEs, to reduce inequalities, foster inclusion ​and social justice;

7. Strengthening measurement, monitoring, and ​reporting to better understand and manage the impact ​and interdependences of tourism on its three dimensions ​– economic, social and environmental;

8. Consistent knowledge sharing between traditional and ​non-traditional actors to bridge knowledge gaps and ​accelerate progress within the sector;

9. Innovative approaches to meet the SDGs; and

10. Long-term forward planning to foster tourism ​resilience.

Composition of Diwali Festival Decorations

Spiritual tourism intersects with regenerative ​tourism and substantially contributes to it. ​Spiritual tourism can play a significant role in ​regenerative tourism by promoting a holistic ​approach to travel that focuses on the well-being ​of individuals, communities, and the ​environment.

Cultural Exchange and ​Understanding

Spiritual tourism often involves visiting ​sacred sites, participating in rituals, ​and engaging with local communities. ​This fosters cultural exchange, ​understanding, and respect between ​travellers and host communities, ​promoting a sense of unity and ​shared humanity.

Community Empowerment

Many spiritual tourism destinations ​are in rural or less economically ​developed areas. By attracting ​visitors, these areas can experience ​economic benefits. Responsible ​spiritual tourism initiatives prioritize ​community engagement and ​empowerment, ensuring that local ​residents have an active role in ​tourism activities and can benefit from ​the economic opportunities it brings.

Aarti ceremony flowers with fire in Varanasi

Environmental Conservation

Spiritual tourism often involves visits ​to natural and serene environments. ​Sustainable and regenerative tourism ​practices associated with spiritual ​travel can help preserve these ​ecosystems. Conservation efforts and ​responsible tourism practices are ​integral to maintaining the spiritual ​and natural integrity of these ​destinations.


Well-being and Mindfulness

Spiritual tourism often emphasizes ​personal well-being, mindfulness, and ​self-discovery. Travelers seeking ​spiritual experiences are more likely ​to appreciate and respect the ​environment they are in. This ​mindfulness can translate into ​responsible tourism practices, such ​as reducing waste, conserving ​resources, and supporting sustainable ​initiatives.

Young woman practicing yoga for meditation and well-being, beach

Local Traditions and Crafts

Spiritual tourism encourages ​travellers to engage with local ​traditions, arts, and crafts. This helps ​in preserving and promoting the ​unique cultural heritage of the ​destination. Travelers may also ​contribute to local economies by ​purchasing handmade products, ​supporting local artisans, and ​participating in cultural workshops.

Traditional Homemade Ceramic Pots on Traditional Crafts Fair

Educational Opportunities

Spiritual tourism often involves ​learning about ancient philosophies, ​religious practices, and cultural ​traditions. This educational aspect ​can lead to a greater understanding of ​the interconnectedness of all things ​and foster a sense of responsibility ​towards the environment and local ​communities.

Young woman in spiritual pose holding the light

Mindful Tourism Practices

Spiritual tourism often attracts ​individuals seeking more meaningful ​and mindful travel experiences. This ​can translate into a lower ​environmental impact, as travellers ​are more likely to choose eco-friendly ​accommodations, adopt responsible ​travel behaviours, and support ​businesses that prioritize ​sustainability.

Achieving spirituality and mindfulness with Yoga exercises!

Promotion of Responsible ​Tourism

Spiritual tourism can act as a catalyst ​for responsible tourism practices. As ​travellers seek deeper connections ​and experiences, there is a growing ​awareness of the need to protect and ​regenerate the places they visit. This ​can lead to a shift in tourism trends ​towards more sustainable and ​regenerative models.

Crystal clear. Spiritual beach sunset
RV Parked Near Ocean at Sunset

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