World Tourism Day 2021: What is Responsible Tourism and How We Can Choose to Travel More Responsibly
Each one of us has a strong impulse or desire to wander and explore the world. Countless places are waiting to be discovered, and convenient travels have made every spot effortlessly accessible. And while you frequently shuttle from one place to another, do you stop to ponder for a minute about the impact of your incessant travels on the planet? Are you being a responsible traveler? Do you wish to make a difference?
These are some of the questions that you must have an answer to as now it is not just about the journeys you undertake but your munificent understanding of the destination and those who call it home. We as travelers must be aware of our responsibility of minimizing the negative impact of our movements wherever we go.
‘Travelling responsibly is less about the destination but more about what you do when you get there,’ says Francis.
Responsible Tourism is indicative of respect for people, culture, and the environment of the place you are visiting. In other words, responsible tourism is to practice mindfulness in your thoughts, actions, and words to pose minimum impacts of travel on the surroundings.
It involves taking sincere steps to curb negative effects of tourism which could be overcrowding, tampering of heritage and the environment, or bringing detrimental social change. In a nutshell, it is all about being passionate visitors giving reasons to conserve and protect the outdoors to yourselves and others.
Travelling is more than just visiting a place; it is taking a journey into oneself. It is a good force and hence we must do our bit to make it more worthwhile. Responsible Tourism is imperative as it necessary for
Preserving the environment is vital for both wanderers and the hosts because if we don’t do so there will be no spot left for us to explore.
For some destinations tourism is the only source of revenue generation. Supporting local economies is a great way of paying back your hosts.
The true wonders of travel are opening up your mind and realizing the beauty of the grassroots. Opting for an authentic local stay is sure to offer you a genuine travel experience.
Journey by road rather than taking an airplane as traveling by flight comes at a high environmental cost. Take a local transport and opt for a journey overland. Explore on foot various attractions or hop on a bike. Halt at places to immerse in the surroundings and don’t miss a chance to connect with the locals.
Leaving no trace behind should be your motto, no matter where you go. Often overlooked by most travelers, not littering the place and disposing of trash responsibly, is basic of all travel etiquettes. Make sure you have Zero waste in your mind before you set off for a trip. Reduce waste in transit and also after reaching and before leaving from the destination.
Keep your hands off, is an important note, to each one, visiting monuments carrying historical or religious importance or any site symbolizing culture or heritage. The statues, rocks, walls, images, or artwork at these sights might be open for you to visit but are not placed there for you to alter. Maintaining a proper distance from these objects is an instruction you must follow.
Go local and benefit the natives of the place you are visiting. Eat local, buy local produce, shop local stuff, and hire a local tour guide. By doing so, you are directly contributing your money to the local economies. Going local is a perfect way to support local communities and their businesses.
Enjoy your stay at homestays owned and run by local families. Nothing will be more exciting and authentic than learning their way of life and spending time with people who will have so much to tell you about the place you have come to explore.
Meet and greet the local people with a heartwarming smile. Share a cup of tea with them and make them feel at ease. Mingling with them will offer you a golden chance to connect with like-minded individuals opening up a window to the outer world. Interact with them and, while visiting traditional communities or religious places, dress decently.
Avoid disturbing wild creatures for your entertainment, such as an elephant ride or posing with a caged lion.
Indulging in activities similar to these might be fun for you but consider the plight of the animals involved in it. Also, avoid buying souvenirs made of animal skin, bones, teeth, or shells. In short, do not mess with the natural habitat.
Becoming a responsible traveler is in our hands. All it takes is going an extra mile to save the Earth. Educate yourself and others and evolve, after all there is no room for our existence other than this planet.
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