Since preserving the planet has become more important than ever before, various fields of economy are developing accordingly and doing what they can to reduce the use of non-sustainable resources. One of those fields is tourism. Tourists are becoming more aware of their environment and actions that could endanger it, and hotels are implementing all kinds of changes that can help reduce the amount of energy and water they waste. And here are a few things you should know about it.
For starters, responsible tourism can be divided into three main terms – human welfare, animal welfare, and nature preservation. The goal is to make as much positive impact as possible when traveling and not harm anything, whether that something is a human, animal, or nature.
Human welfare is related to the consequences of our actions when traveling. So, for example, you shouldn’t mock the culture of the country you’re visiting, you should respect the dress code and know the customs, you should always behave politely, you should respect the national treasures and properties, and you should invest your money in local businesses. You should also always ask before taking photos of other people. In short, it’s all about being respectful and polite.
Animal welfare concerns the well-being of animals. As we all know, animals have been taken advantage of for a long time, and while it can be justifiable in some instances, when they are used for food or transport and treated well – in some cases, they are only used without being taken care of. So, to travel responsibly also means not to give money to any person or organization that is using animals to earn money from tourists. This includes riding elephants and donkeys that are very often malnourished and kept in terrible conditions. Zoos are also very questionable, and very few provide their animals with everything they need.
Another thing to keep in mind is whether a certain facility is endangering animals by reducing their natural habitat. So, for instance, if a certain hotel or entertainment facility is built on what used to be a part of a forest, jungle, or any other animal home, you should not support it financially. Now, this might not always be easy to tell, but it’s still worth thinking about.
When talking about nature preservation, most people think about parks, beaches, and not leaving trash in the open. Which is important, of course, but there’s more to it than that. Australia, for example, often uses the services of a hydrographic survey company to protect the marine environment, which is essential for riverside and lakeside areas that do get a lot of attention from tourists. Additionally, you should try to use eco-friendly transport as much as you can – if you can walk or cycle, it’s always better and healthier for you than going by car or bus.
An essential part of responsible tourism is also not wasting non-sustainable resources, like water. Water is something most people still take for granted, but the fact is that it is becoming scarce and needs to be preserved. Fortunately, there are ways to do that. Hotels, for example, have already started installing water-saving fixtures in their bathrooms. What you as a tourist can do, though, is simply pay attention to your habits. Don’t leave the water running while brushing your teeth or shaving, take showers rather than baths, and opt for those hotels that do have water-saving fixtures.
Being a responsible tourist today is extremely important. Our planet is beautiful, and it has many natural wonders for us to admire and appreciate. However, for those wonders to last, we all need to pay more attention to our influence on the environment, animals, and other people. So, think about the listed things, and next time you travel, make sure you travel responsibly.