Emerging economies received almost half of the global international tourist arrivals in 2018 (45.6%). It isn’t surprising! Haven't you ever dreamt of swimming with turtles in the pristine waters of Bora Bora, observing wild elephants on a Kenyan safari, or discovering the magical flavours of India? We sure have!
When travelling to any foreign destination, we check what vaccines are required, we buy travel insurance, and most importantly, we make sure to drink from safe water sources once we arrive.
In developing regions, 80% of illnesses are linked to inadequate water and sanitation. Bacteria, parasites, and viruses can swiftly turn the best holiday into a 48h nightmare of vomiting and diarrhea (if you're lucky). If you’ve been fortunate to have never experienced this, you probably know someone who has or might be familiar with the expression 'Bali Belly'.
We think of the work we've done for that well deserved holiday, all the planning, the money we intend to spend, and for us, being cautious is worth those days that risk being wasted.
So, bottled water it is?
It's reasonable to think, but how can we pass that burden onto the same countries we came to experience in the first place? When consuming single-use plastic in nations with inadequate infrastructure for waste management, we not only seriously threaten the people living there but their flora and fauna too. Travelling responsibly and avoiding single-use plastics like bottled water is equally important to us as drinking from safe water sources.
Alternatives are there and are quite accessible when mindful in touristic areas. Most restaurants, accommodations, and diving centres offer complimentary refills to their patrons. Although not always easy to find and we've questioned the hygiene of some, water dispenser machines can often be found around shopping malls and train stations.
We don't believe the responsible traveller should ever have to rely on bottled water, but in the end, we have often felt restricted getting off the beaten path knowing our access (as tourists) to safe water would be restricted in rural areas.
With sustainable travel announced as the main tourism trend for 2020 and international arrivals growing at a rate of 5% globally, we feel there is an imperative need for a reliable, practical and responsible solution. Every traveller should have safe access to clean water without compromising the health of our planet no matter where their adventures may take them.
If you're interested in learning how we intend to accomplish this, the Wayfarer Universal Purifier is now pre-launching! Sign up to our newsletter and be first to receive every update of how we're going to help you stay safe, free, and responsible travelling to the most exotic destinations in 2020.