Depleting green cover, over-commercialisation and congestion, pollution and crowded parking space: that’s the picture of tourism in almost all the countries. In recent years, the problems brought by the booming global tourism industry have taken centre stage in many transnational organisations. However, even with calls for sustainable tourism growing louder, the dream of eco-tourism remained distant. Now, that’s beginning to change.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to rethink the future of travel with a much sharper focus on sustainability, climate protection, and clean mobility. Most of the efforts aim to contain the hefty carbon footprint emitted while using fuel-based transportation for travel. To put things in perspective, tourism is responsible for eight per cent of the world’s carbon emissions, of which 49 per cent can be attributed to transportation. So, if we want travel to be sustainable, we will have to move towards green mobility. And, there couldn’t be a better time to introduce EV tourism than now.
The EV Momentum
After years of hopeful signs, the world is finally witnessing the EV revolution, one in which transportation will contribute zero emissions. A JP Morgan report stated that the world just passed the point of no point returning on the global journey to zero-emission motoring. Rapid advancements in vehicle battery technology and falling prices have contributed to making EV a household name.
In India, the government’s ambitious target to electrify all vehicles has given much-needed impetus for driving awareness about the impact of EVs on the economy, environment and development. There’s massive growth in the Indian EV market on the back of growing consumer confidence and supportive public policies. Several promising players have entered the market with a vision to solve all the pain points in the EV segment. We have seen a massive interest in EVs in the last few months, especially in the two-wheeler market. India is a 20 Million unit a year two-wheeler market, and the EV revolution is happening here.
An e-bike ride through the city
The push for a transition to green vehicles is supported by the need to build a sustainable tourism ecosystem, paving the way for responsible and conscious travel. The EV tourism initiative by the Goa Tourism and Development Corporation (GTDC) is the best example of the wonders EV adoption can do to the tourism sector. This initiative encourages travellers to explore and experience Goa in an environmentally friendly and trendy style. A similar initiative was launched by the Mysore and Karnataka government to encourage the use of clean mobility. Such steps are essential to grow EV tourism. This way, tourists get an immersive local experience in the most sustainable manner possible.
EV tourism: A catalyst for change
From an e-bike tour in Goa to driving EVs on Mumbai-Lonavala highways, EV tourism is slowly and steadily increasing. Although the trend is new, there’s a growing consensus that it can drive sustainability in tourism and the transport sector. An EV tourism program encourages people to use EVs while they’re travelling and motivates them to consider buying EVs after getting first-hand experience. The best part about EV tourism is that it can also encourage people to go car-free and opt for a greener mode of transportation, such as an e-bike.
There can’t be a better time to introduce EV tourism. The Covid-19 has served as a warning to many industries, raising serious concerns about climate change, greenhouse emissions and global warming. A recent World Economic Forum revealed that most people want to make it more sustainable and equitable. EV tourism is one of the many crucial steps that can be taken to drive such a change on a massive scale. And this World Tourism Day, We can all pledge to #SwitchToEV one vehicle at a time.
(The writer is the Co-founder & CEO, BLive- EV Experiential| Tourism Platform)