How to be a Responsible Traveler
Do you fall into the group of people annoyed at the crowds of people lining up to see, for example, the Mona Lisa, or wondering how you can help the people in need in the destinations you visit?
While there're many discussions regarding over-tourism and the banning/restricting of visitors to famous landmarks, there's not much mention of the economic impact of tourism on different communities and countries. Tourism is one of the biggest industry in the world (approximately 10% of global GDP), the tourism industry enables economies, businesses and communities to develop and grow. Does that mean we should ignore the cultural and environmental impacts? No, absolutely not, what we should do instead is become knowledgeable about what we can do to become responsible travelers.
5 Easy Tips to Be a Responsible Traveler
- Give back - a recent study done by Phocuswright showed that 64% of travelers who gave (donation or service) felt it contributed to their trip satisfaction and organizations like Pack For A Purpose makes it easy to give needed supplies
- Travel during the shoulder season to reduce the burden on the infrastructure - benefits: less crowds, less expensive, more options
- Remember you are a guest - learn the common courtesy greetings, be respectful of the culture and especially of religious sites, icons and practices
- Protect the environment - walking tours can be fun, eco restaurants are cool and so are LEED certified hotels
- Leave a small imprint on the destination - do not litter, deface or destroy the landmarks you've spent money and time to visit
Did you know there are hotels & lodges around the world that donate blankets, sheets, toiletries, etc. to local orphanages? Wouldn't you prefer to give them your business if you knew which ones did this? That’s where aligning with companies that give back to the local community can make a big difference. If you're interested in how you can make a difference when you travel, visit sites such as Tourism Cares, Pack For a Purpose, Good Travels Advisor, etc. or simply contact Paradigm Travel for guidance.
Paradigm Travel is a certified GOOD TRAVELS ADVISOR.