Document Type : Original Article


Universiti Utara Malaysia, MALAYSIA


In todays’ world of climate change and increasing pollution, the concept of green travel and tourism has been proposed as a possible mitigating solution. However, the pace with which tourists embrace this new concept is slow. It can be argued that the reluctance to embrace is linked to the inability to understand the spiritual side of green travel and tourism. It is said that humankind have the tendency separate itself from nature. Nature is considered as ‘others’ and does not merit the same level of respect. Nature is there for humankind’s use and consumption, a thinking that easily leads to abuse and destruction. The same can be applied to tourism. While international travel includes a substantial number of tourists who would consider themselves to be religious and spiritual, it is argued that not many of them will be able to decipher the spiritual aspect of opting for green travel and tourism compared to mass tourism. This paper attempts to demonstrate the close link between green travel and tourism with spirituality. It tends to explain why more people who believe in religion and spirituality should strongly consider the concept in their travel decisions. The hope is to increase public awareness on the spirituality of green travel and tourism so the concept will soon become the order of the day.


Allen, K., (1993). „South Australian market review‟ in Down to Earth Planning for an Out-Of-The Ordinary Industry, Paper presented at the South Australian Eco-tourism Forum August 19-20, Adelaid.
Dalai Lama (1990). Spirituality and Nature: An address to the four-day ecumenical Middlebury Symposium on religion and the environment, Middlebury College, Vermont, USA, delivered on September 14, 1990.
Environment and Development Desk Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration (2007). His holiness the XIV Dalahi Lama in Environment, collected statements. Retrieved from: August 4, 2016.
Honey, M. (2008). Ecotourism and Sustainable Development, Second Edition: Who Owns Paradise? Island Press.
Hughes, J.D. (1990). Artemis: Goddess of conservation. Forest and Conservation History. October: 191-197.
Kasim, A. (2009). Towards a wider adoption of business responsibility in the hotel sector. International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism , 8(2), 25-49.
Lovelock, J.E. (1979). Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth. New York: Oxford University Press. 157 p.
Nowaczek, A. Moran-Cahusac,. C. and Fennell, D. (2007). Against the current striving for ethical ecotourism. Higham, J. (ed.) Critical Issues in Ecotourism: Understanding a Complex Tourism Phenomenon, Elsevier, Oxford, pp. 136-157.
Sadhguru (2014). What is Spirituality? Retrieved from
Shroeder (n.d.). The Spiritual Aspect of Nature: A Perspective from Depth Psychology. Retrieved from
Vest, J.H. (1983). Nature awe: Historical views of nature. Western Wildlands. Spring: 39-43.
Williams, B. (1990). Reflections on the spirit of nature. Transformation, 21(2), 5.
Willson, G. B., McIntosh, A. J. and Zahra, A. L. (2013). Tourism and spirituality: A phenomenological analysis. Annals of Tourism Research, 42, 150-168.
Eco psychology or Green psychology (
What part does spirituality play in the green movement?