Responsible travel has become a trending topic in tourism right now.
But what does it actually mean?
Simply put, traveling responsibly is all about active awareness, kindness, and mutual respect for the world around you.
It is about considering your own impact on destinations and cultures and taking responsibility for ensuring that every aspect of your travels, from the transport you take, the places you stay, to the way you interact, all have a positive impact. There are plenty of ways travelers can help make a big difference by simply being more mindful.
Respect the local culture and customs
Some things may seem weird or illogical to a person from one culture, but completely natural to someone from another background.
Show respect and obey local rules and ordinances.
Contribute to the local economy
One of the best ways to be socially responsible when you travel is to ensure that your spending will benefit the local economy.
If you are shopping; spend your money on locally made souvenirs.
If you are shopping at a local market or fair: try to find out who will benefit from the proceeds?
Want to make your next holiday an eco-friendly one?
Getting at your destination usually involves a flight: airlines can play a much larger role by offering to buy carbon-credits to limit the carbon footprint.
Find out if your client is willing to participate?
Once you have arrived at your destination, try to use “green” transportation as much as you can. Rent bicycles instead of using motor coaches; use local mass transportation such as trams, electric buses, or sub-ways.
See if your program allows for tree planting, use of local farmer markets for your next group picnic outing.
Work together with local organizations such as for non-profits and schools: spend a morning in cleaning up a local playground.
Even one small step can be a catalyst for significant change
Remember, you do not have to revolutionize the way you travel all at once. There is plenty of neutral ground when it comes to ethical travel, but once you realize how powerful your choices are when you are on a trip, we are confident that you will find sustainable travel to be more rewarding than you ever imagined.
The power of “small” is larger than you think!