Conscious tourism can be defined as an alternative model to mass industrial tourism that is based on principles of social and economic justice, which simultaneously offers spiritually fulfilling experiences to travellers, without affecting the environment and local cultures.
Conscious tourism is in line with the ideas and concepts of responsible or sustainable tourism, however as often the words responsibility and sustainability are often overused and not understood. Responsible or sustainable tourism have been more widely adopted as a terms by industry as any form of tourism that can be consumed in a more responsible or sustainable way. Thus responsible tourism recognizes the centrality of local hosting communities and their right to be the leaders in sustainable and socially responsible tourism development in their territory.
In the same way conscious tourism encourages alternatives and more mindful experiences and interactions between the tourism industry, local communities, the travellers and the environment. In addition to the above principles, conscious tourism fosters an authentic, sincere and intimate encounter between the Eastern wisdom with Western pragmatism, so that the travel experience can be reworked in a creative way in the personal life of all the people and communities involved. To this end every tour will become a path of personal growth through a mutual exchange among travellers, and between them and local communities.
“A pilgrimage distinguishes itself from an ordinary journey by the fact that it does not follow a laid-out plan or itinerary, that it does not pursue a fixed aim or a limited purpose, but that it carries its meaning in itself; by relying on an inner urge which operates on two planes: on the physical as well as on the spiritual plane. It is a movement not only in the outer, but equally in the inner space, a movement whose spontaneity is that of the nature of all life, i.e. of all that grows continually beyond its momentary form, a movement that always starts from an invisible inner core (…)
Thus the pilgrimage in the outer space is actually the mirrored reflection of an inner movement or development, directed towards a yet unknown, distant aim which, however, is intrinsically and seed-like contained in the very direction of that movement. Here from springs the readiness to cross the horizons of the known and the familiar, the readiness to accept people and new environments as parts of our destiny, and the confidence in the ultimate significance of all that happens and is in harmony with the depth of our being and the universality of a greater life”.
Lama Anagarika Govinda
“The Way of the White clouds”