What is responsible travel, its importance and how to practice it

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If you don’t want to be just a typical traveller, this post is meant for you. It shares super resourceful information regarding responsible travelling, why it matters and how you can be part of it. If you love what you see when you’re travelling, then it would only be fair to ensure even the travellers who come after you won’t be disappointed. Hence, take your time to read the post to understand responsible tourism better and how to become an ethical traveller.

The meaning of responsible tourism

Probably you’ve heard the word responsible tourism or sustainable tourism being used by hotels and tour operators among other businesses associated with tourism. That’s because they understand how important responsible tourism is to them, to the travellers themselves and the world at large.

Responsible tourism can be defined in various ways but a more straightforward definition would be ‘travelling that doesn’t cause negative social, environmental and economic impact whenever you travel to’. For example, respecting the local communities of the destinations you visit, putting trash in the designated places, protecting wildlife and natural resources, etc.

Although it may sound simple based on this statement, responsible/sustainable tourism can only be achieved by conscious travellers who have chosen to make a positive impact wherever they travel to. In other words, responsible travel is a choice other than a rule. You don’t have to be given a stern warning in order to become a responsible traveller; you just need to make a choice and stick to it.

Why does responsible travel really matter?

The tourism industry is growing every day and continues to be a massive global employer. Thus, it’s an industry that should be taken good care of. Its fall or stagger can see many people lose their source of income and you can imagine how bad the situation can get. And that’s just a portion of what would happen if the tourism industry is negatively affected.

As a traveller, it is important to know that travelling does not only impact your life. In addition to the impact it has on travellers, travelling also affects the destinations we travel to, its environment and the wildlife which inhabit that area.

Travelling responsibly is even more fulfilling than just travelling to see beautiful places. That’s because, in addition to travelling, you are on a mission to make the world a better place to live and positively impact the lives of the people you meet along the way.

And by the way, you don’t have to give up on the things you love to practice responsible travelling. Even though there are certain things you may be forced to change, it is for your own good and that of the entire world. Besides, knowing that whatever you are doing will impact the world positively, the sacrifice is worth it.

How to practice responsible travel

In addition to the world being an exciting place to live, people love to travel because they are fascinated by the beauty of the world. It’s even more fun when you travel to different destinations and enjoy the different sceneries. However, as much as travelling the world is great, if it’s done irresponsibly, it can have a very negative impact on the people and world we all love so much. That’s why it’s important to practice responsible travel wherever you go to.

But how do you practice this awesome trait? Responsible travelling is not about taking luxurious vacations or travelling to countless beautiful destinations but rather how you carry yourself when you travel and the impact you make on the environment and the local communities. Among the things you can do to practice responsible travelling includes:

Keeping it local

The best way you can promote the local communities is through buying their goods and services. Although there are certain personal items you may find difficult to leave home when packing, at least it wouldn’t harm to leave a few and buy them at the destination you are going to. That way, you’ll have promoted someone’s business and supported the local community financially. The same case with the food you’ll consume plus your accommodation. All these are activities that will bring money to a community and help the local people develop their place. So, if you want to come back again to a more beautiful destination, help promote the local economy by buying local.

Help preserve the culture

One of the greatest aspects of travel is the experience you get from the unique cultures of different people. Unfortunately, that local culture you enjoy can easily be overrun by outside forces particularly foreign tourists who don’t know its significance. Therefore, it’s upon you to know that you have a role to play when it comes to preserving local culture. Support the local community financially and research on the things you can do to ensure the culture stays put.

In addition, educate yourself in matters regarding that destination you’ve travelled to. Try to get a more genuine understanding of their culture and what you can do to help preserve it. A responsible traveller cares for future travellers. It’s upon you to ensure the generations to come will enjoy what you are currently enjoying.

Help preserve the environment

This is huge. The environmental impact of travelling is an issue that must be handled with care. People have to travel, they have to use cars and flights and all of them have an impact on the environment. While there are things we may not have control of such as taking a flight for an international trip, there are many other things you can do that are within your jurisdiction as a traveller. The simplest of them all is littering. When you tour a park or a museum, why not dispose off litter responsibly? The same way you are enjoying a clean environment is the same way another tourist who is planning to visit that destination will want to enjoy.

More so, you can reduce clutter by bringing along reusable items instead of disposable ones such as water bottles. And again, respect those natural resources. For instance, don’t do or use anything that will contaminate the water sources and vegetation. If the travellers before you weren’t responsible, you wouldn’t be lucky to enjoy the beautiful serene you are enjoying now. In that case, be kind and extend the good gesture.

Become a responsible traveller

Now that you know that just travelling the world isn’t enough, you need to be a responsible traveller to impact the lives of the people you interact with along the way. Besides, responsible travelling is the only option you can be sure the generations to come will enjoy the adventures you are enjoying now.

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