Responsible Travel

Responsible Tourism
Responsible Tourism - © UNEPtourism

Responsible travel takes in to account the full effects of travel these include the cultural, economic, environmental and social factors and considerations. Responsible tourism and travel aims to minimise the negative impact associated with and caused by travel and tourism and maximise the positive impact associated with travel. In recent years the phrases responsible tourism, ecotourism and sustainable travel have become widely used buzz words and have begun to enter the consciousness of travellers, organisations and governments. Travel and holidays that offer elements associated with responsible & sustainable travel and ecotourism are becoming increasingly popular among travellers.

Responsible & Sustainable Tourism

What is Responsible Tourism & Travel?
What Travellers Can Do

What is Responsible Tourism & Travel?

Responsible travel aims to take in to account the full consequences of travel on the environment, economies and local people. Among the main principles underlying them are:

Cultural & Social: Travel and tourism that gives due respect for local cultures and customs. The aim includes striving to have better understanding and co operation between the local people and host communities and travellers that visit the areas from around the world.

Economic: The economic benefits of travel can benefit the local communities and people, however in the past economic benefits have in many places been enjoyed by larger organisations in the tourism trade and at macro economic levels. Responsible and sustainable travel aims to ensure the financial benefits from travel & tourism are also enjoyed by the local people at a micro economic level. Fair trade polices and principle can be followed as one way to help achieve this.

Environmental & Wildlife: The aim here is to strive to minimise the negative impact and consequences of travel and tourism. Ways to ensure the future of the planet for future generations and to conserve and protect biodiversity, the natural world and wildlife. Negative environmental consequences from mass travel and tourism present one of the great challenges for responsible tourism.

What Travellers Can Do

Using the guiding principles behind responsible tourism & travel offers travellers a way to take personal responsibility and direct action to help with climate change. Climate change represents a huge challenge and many have argued for a multi faceted approach requiring urgent action on a global, international, regional and local level. Travellers can help influence action on a personal level by following the guiding ethos that underpins responsible tourism & travel. See Responsible Tourism Travellers Tips for a range of practical travellers tips and advice.

There are of course many issues and actions that require international and global solutions on a macro economical level. For individual travellers visualising how they as individuals can make a different can appear to be daunting, there are steps however small we can all take to help with responsible tourism. Travellers can help to make their choices count, they can make themselves aware of the issues, listen to the arguments for and against courses of action and make up their own minds. Travellers can question the status quo and show their support for travel companies and organisations that are pro active and implement policies designed to help with responsible and sustainable travel.

Travellers that wish to support sustainable tourism and travel can consider giving their business to travel & holiday organisations & projects designed to help with responsible tourism rather than hinder it. Travellers can also carefully think about the consequences of their travel, they may wish to become carbon neutral and buy carbon credit to essentially put back in what they have taken out and end up in a Carbon Neutral position.

Travel brings many benefits to countries around the world, it can help with a whole range of issues from income generation for countries and communities to providing many jobs in the travel and leisure industries to fostering better understanding and co operation between countries and people helping peace and stability. There are a range of challenges that need to be faced including that of climate change and ensuring that travel and tourism becomes sustainable, responsible and more ethical to ensure the future of the planet, the resources and local people.

With ever increasing awareness of ecotourism and sustainable travel there are now more options open to travellers to go on holidays and trips that include at least some of the main principles behind responsible tourism and travel. As public consciousness increases to this issue around the world, the holidays and trips on offer are likely to become ever more popular with more offerings to choose from.

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