Responsible Tourism Travellers Tips

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Ecotourism Facility - © Thelmadatter

The growth in travel and tourism worldwide has led to growing concerns on the impact this has on the environment and wildlife. An increasing number of travellers are concerned at the negative impact and keen to become more responsible tourists. Responsible tourism aims to reduce the negative impact tourism can have on local people, cultures and the environment. The responsible tourism travellers tips guide looks at steps travellers can take to become more responsible tourists and help protect wildlife, environment and local cultures of the places they visit.

Responsible Tourism – Travellers Tips

Before You Start Your Trip
Travelling By Air & Carbon Offsetting
Natural Resources Considerations
Local Economy Tips
Environmental & Wildlife Tips

Before You Start Your Trip

Do your research on the places your will be visiting and familiarised yourself with any environmental/wildlife/local people and cultures concerns that exist. It is important to be aware of these and think about how things you can do on your trip could help.

If you are booking your holidays through a tour operator, check if they have a sustainable tourism policy.

Check to see if the hotel you will be staying at operates in a sustainable way.

You may wish to consider staying in accommodation that is locally owned and operated to ensure the monetary benefits stay in the local area.

Try to minimise the packaging you take with you, excess packaging such as plastic and various types of boxes are a major expense for local communities.

There are a growing number of trips and excursions that can be booked locally operated by local people who are likely to have the best knowledge of the area. Try to book these trips and it can ensure more of the money for the trips goes to help local people and supports the local economy.

Travelling By Air & Carbon Offsetting

Carbon emissions from air flights can do the most damage to the environment than other aspects of your trip. Travellers can off set the carbon emissions they are responsible for by investing in projects all around the world aimed at reducing and preventing carbon emissions. The projects are wide ranging an include energy efficient schemes, restoring forests and investing in renewable energy sources among others. Travellers can off set the carbon emissions and become 'carbon neutral' essentially putting back in what they took out.

For shorter journeys that have viable alternatives to air travel, you may wish to consider using road, rail, coach and ferry.

Natural Resources Considerations

Natural resources are at a premium all over the world, this is particularly so in developing countries, use natural resources such as water carefully and be sparing in your use of them. Do not unnecessarily waste resources such as water by leaving the taps on when brushing or shaving.

Help conserve resources in your hotel, be careful with using heating and electricity, if the heating or air conditioning is too high turn it down and do not waste electricity such as leaving the TV on when not using it and leaving the lights on when not in the room.

Inform hotel staff that you can use hotel towels and bedding for more than one day.

Reduce the litter you produce, bottles can be re used as can many types of containers. Re use any plastic bags you may have.

Local Economy Tips

Consider buying goods produced locally and from local markets and shops. There are many projects around the world encouraging local people to use their skills in producing local goods, seek out these projects and help to support them.

Avoid buying goods that use materials and resources that are endangered or in short supply. Be careful to avoid buying anything that is illegal, you can face prosecution in the host country and prosecution in the UK if you bring the goods in to the UK. If you are buying goods and souvenirs check they do not break local & international law.

Pay a fair price for goods and services, trying to bargain down the price too low can mean local sellers find it very difficult to make a living from tourists. Paying over the odds is not only expensive but can inadvertently increase the prices local people are expected to pay for the same goods.

Show respect for the local people and local laws and customs. Cultures and customs vary greatly throughout the world and can be very different to that experienced in the UK. Nonetheless, travelling has the great ability to bring diverse people from all cultures and backgrounds together. If you show respect to local people and cultures you are likely to very well received on your travels, making for a much more enjoyable trip for yourself and the hosts.

Environmental & Wildlife Tips

Show respect for the environment and wildlife on your trips.

Do not give support to see shows and activities that exploit animals.

On wildlife trips i.e. safaris, bird watching choose a reputable firm and ask them about their policies on sustainable tourism and wildlife. Follow advice on safe distances to observe animals from, do not get too close or force the animals to change their behaviours (a sign you are too close).

Show respect for the animals and their habitats and environment on your trips.

If you feel either wildlife or the environment is not being correctly cared for, looked after or respected, complain to your tour company or activity provider and make yourself heard, the more people to complain against these wrongs is more likely to alter behaviours in the future.

Do not buy souvenirs from wild animals, do not give any support to illegal poaching that has devastated many species that were once plentiful bring them to the brink of extinction.

We hope you have found the responsible tourism travellers tips of use in not only raising awareness of the many issues around responsible tourism but also given some useful tips and advice on how you can help become a more responsible tourist on your trips. Many of the tips are applicable to help responsible tourism in the UK too not just for overseas. Responsible tourism and initiatives such as carbon offsetting are not a panacea to all the worlds wildlife and environmental concerns rather they should be viewed with many other initiatives and actions that need to be taken to safeguard the environment and wildlife. Responsible tourism does offer travellers a way to challenge past perceptions and embrace travel in a way in which they can directly make a difference to help sustain tourism and benefit the environment.

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