Traveling is an experience that brings us countless benefits. It allows us to get to know new cultures, to disconnect from our daily life, and to contemplate unforgettable landscapes. But how does this affect the planet? Here are some tips on how to practice responsible tourism.
What is responsible for tourism?
To talk about actions that implement responsible tourism, it is necessary to know clearly what this consists of. When we travel we tend to see only the positive side of the experience. That is to say, the benefits or the well-being that we get as tourists.
However, the journey goes beyond the experience itself. And that involves a number of factors that we tend to overlook. First, there is a displacement that has an impact on the environment, because it results in an increase in toxic emissions.
In addition, the enormous number of tourists that some destinations experience without control results in excessive soil erosion and damage to the most vulnerable ecosystems. On the other hand, the vast tourist offer and the growth of large companies also have a negative impact on the local economy, since the income is not intended for small traders.
Since it is not a question of drastically slowing down travel, but of doing so in a sustainable way, here are some actions that you can put into practice for responsible tourism. Thus, our impact on the destination is better and we are thus contributing to bring something positive to the latter.
Plan your trip
How many times did we drive around in circles until we found our destination through a lack of planning? A waste of time and unnecessary fuel, isn’t it? Well, it’s the same when we travel.
In order to practice responsible tourism, it is necessary to plan your trips, regardless of the means of transport. Always try to choose the ones that offer efficient and energy-efficient driving. Use public transport, a bicycle, or go on foot. Also, if you book in advance, you can get lower prices for the same service. Also, choose solidarity destinations.
Look for sustainable accommodation
Responsible tourism involves the use of environmentally friendly accommodation. For example, we can pay attention to materials used in construction, natural or recycled insulation, or efficient use of energy, such as solar panels.
Avoid generating more waste
If we do not do it ourselves at home, it is more difficult to practice responsible tourism. When we are abroad, we worry less about wasting paper, water or energy, which is detrimental to the planet. The lights and air conditioning that stay on for hours, poorly closed taps, 15-minute showers… A waste of energy that harms the region and the planet in general.
So in addition to carrying your travel information on electronic devices, avoid carrying unplanned maps and guides that you then throw away and practice responsible tourism wherever you go.
Do not change the nature
Responsible tourism is based on respect for the place we visit. This means that we must act in a civic manner and not behave as if we are in an amusement park. Follow the indications which mark the boundaries of the zones, do not throw away residues and do not take objects like memories. Think it’s not just you, but millions of tourists who want a souvenir.
And if you’re going to buy them, don’t contribute to practices like poaching. Avoid zoos and animal exhibits, and opt for ones dedicated to rescuing and reintegrating animals into the wild.
Collaborate with the local economy
If we want to practice responsible tourism, we must go to restaurants that offer typical dishes made with artisan products. However, the seasons must be respected to avoid having a negative impact, as is the case with shellfish. Handicrafts, local traditions or establishments run by the local population are other variations of responsible tourism.
Respect the local people
Just because we have enough income to be able to move and travel does not mean that we are above the local population. Instead of imposing our culture, we need to integrate into their culture. This means that customs relating to clothing, schedules, greetings or practices such as haggling must be observed if we are to make this responsible tourism.
Reduce your waste
Responsible tourism involves recycling according to local regulations and avoiding disposable products. Even if you’re just passing through, use reusable bags and don’t pile up unnecessary plastic.
There is only one planet for everyone, so practice responsible tourism and take care of the only home we have.