Travelling to other countries or even just new destinations within your own country can be an exciting journey but nowadays, there is a need for tourists to travel responsibly in order to make a positive difference through travel.
We’ve compiled some guidelines how you can travel responsibly on your next adventure.
AVOID WASTE AND OVER CONSUMPTION
This might be easier said than done but a simple way to avoid waste is to travel with a metal canteen or container that you can fill up yourself instead of buying plastic water bottles. This way you will, on your own small way, produce less garbage and therefore also reduce your environmental impact. When staying in a guest house or hotel you are also able to make a difference by reusing your towels and by switching off the lights and air-conditioning when you leave your room.
USE LOCAL RESOURCES IN A SUSTAINABLE WAY
A local resource is defined as anything that has the potential to improve the quality of life in a community. By eating at the local restaurants and by buying at the local supermarket you make a big difference to the community you are visiting.
BE SENSITIVE TO THE HOST CULTURE
It is a fact that people behave differently all around the world and especially when travelling it is important that you learn what those differences are and that you adapt your personal style and preferences. If you are travelling to another destination where your culture is different to that of the local culture, it is important to respect the way they do things. If you know that they might be offended by something that you normally do back home, try to avoid that. For example, if you are visiting an African culture, you will find that most of them will eat with their hands – it is important for you not to make fun of that and try to do the same.
ENSURE THAT COMMUNITIES ARE INVOLVED IN, AND BENEFIT FROM, TOURISM
Community involvement in tourism literally means to create wealth for local communities. That involvement is also not limited to cultural experiences but also includes activities and service provision. Try to make use of the knowledge of locals for tours on nature related attractions, like fishing and bird watching or support the local arts and craft markets.
Just by making small changes while travelling can make a big impact on the community where you are visiting.