When I visit a beautiful place, I want my holiday to have a positive impact on local people and their environment. Although all travel has both positive and negative effects locally, Responsible Tavel maximises the positive and minimises the negative effectives of tourism.
I have used Responsible Travel several times and have had wonderful holidays that fit my values. I asked Responsible Travel to write a guest post for The Thread about how you can travel responsibly. Responsible Travel shares People Tree’s commitment for doing business in a way that is good for people and the environment. If you are planning a holiday, I hope you will find these tips helpful.
About Responsible Travel
Responsibletravel.com is the world’s largest online travel portal for responsible and ethical tourism – holidays which support local communities and conserve local environments. Responsible Travel works with a carefully selected range of specialist tour operators and accommodation providers who give you the chance to travel like a local – giving you the inside track on places to discover away from the tourist crowds and a chance to really connect with the local people, landscape, culture food and environment.
So how can YOU be a responsible tourist?
Before you travel
- Choose a responsible operator or accommodation. To list a holiday on Responsible Travel, tour operators or accommodations must demonstrate a commitment to protecting local environments and supporting local communities.
- Reduce your carbon emissions – by reducing the amount you fly, and when you do fly making it count by booking a responsible holiday that will benefit local environments and people.
- Read up on local customs and cultures and learn a few words of the local language – travelling with respect also earns you respect.
- Remove all excess packaging – responsible waste disposal is difficult in remote places and some developing countries.
- Extra tip from Safia: Pack simply – I always find I enjoy my holiday more with less to choose to wear when I’m there!
While you are on holiday
- Buy local! Avoid imported goods and instead support local producers. However be careful to avoid products made from endangered species, hardwoods or ancient artifacts.
- Respect local cultures, traditions and holy places. If in doubt, seek local advice or just don’t visit.
- Use public transport, walk or hire a bike. It’s a great way to meet local people, discover more about everyday life at your destination, and helps reduce carbon emissions.
- Hire a local guide – you’ll learn more about local culture and lives and they will be earning an income.
When you get back
- Write comments or feedback on your holiday to your tour operator or accommodation owner mentioning in particular any suggestions to reduce environmental impacts or increase benefits to local communities
- Be an ambassador for responsible tourism – share your experiences of a responsible holiday, and the benefits you discovered, with friends and family.
And finally…cultivate the habit of asking questions, rather than the Western habit of knowing the answers.
Different countries and cultures have different ways of thinking and concepts of time. By asking questions you are acknowledging these differences and the answers you receive will give you the chance to experience a deeper and more authentic form of tourism – an experience which will ultimately leave a more lasting impression on you.
Ready to plan your next holiday?
Responsibletravel.com are delighted to be able to offer all PeopleTree customers £50 off their next holiday booking. Quote discount code PEOPLE50 before 31st May 2013 (voucher terms &conditions apply – visit www.responsibletravel.com/vouchertermsandconditions). What do we mean by deeper travel? Find out more here. Let us help you find your perfect responsible holiday. Call 01273 823700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org