In the present time, traveling has been easier. Anyone today can do it and with enough determination, most people can travel almost anywhere in the world even without much money, plans, or concerns. Did you know that there are about 1.2 billion people that travel per year? That is roughly fifteen percent of the population which is crazy, right?
The internet helped create mass tourism that we now experience in some ways. However, with more and more people hitting the road it’s really crucial for us to take some steps to ensure that our travels are not damaging the world, the places we dream of seeing, and as well as the people we meet along the way. It is really important that we promote responsible tourism and sustainable travel.
Today, we are going to discuss responsible and sustainable tourism. Maybe you’ve seen the words ‘responsible’ and ‘sustainable’ being put in front of the word ‘tourism’ lately, but what does responsible and sustainable tourism actually mean? Responsible and sustainable tourism is something that minimizes negative economic, environmental, and social impacts. Here are some of the tips we can share so that on our next travel, we will leave nothing behind but our footsteps.
Define the Purpose of Your Travel
Before you decide to pick out a place to go to, you should first define the purpose of why you are going to travel. It can be because that’s what you’ve planned for your long-awaited yearly holidays or maybe because you just want to have some relaxing time on the mountains or on a pristine beach. It’s important to set up your goals first, your intention for your travels, and then move to the next step.
Choose Your Destination Mindfully
When you choose places to go, it’s important to do your research as well. You need to see if the place is suffering any problems and if going there will just add to that problem. For example, in beaches, there is now mass ocean pollution being featured in the news and other travel channels caused by massive parties done in beaches. If that is the case on the destination you wish to go, then maybe you should find other places that are more earth-conscious.
Bring Environmental Friendly Items
Part of traveling responsibly is bringing and using environmental friendly items. These can be a reusable water bottle, a foldable, reusable bag for shopping, and reusable dishware if possible. You can also use a reusable straw if you prefer drinking with a straw. Reusable straws can replace single-use plastic straws. In certain places, it’s the travelers who mostly contribute far more waste on the road but these things will help you reduce waste when you travel. You should also try to limit the amount of plastic waste you produce especially when the place you’re traveling to does not have an efficient recycling system.
Avoid Questionable Animal Activities
When it comes to traveling responsibly, the treatment of animals is included too. If you want to interact with animals in the place you’re traveling to, make sure that you seek out animal rehabilitation facilities first. You should also do more research into practices such as feedings to attract animals. If you’re an animal lover, you should make sure that the ones you meet on your travels are treated well.
Immerse Yourself in Local Culture
When you book activities with tour operators, keep in mind that those who work with smaller groups are usually more environmentally responsible. It’s because they care about the places they visit and they help you connect with the local culture and will be able to give you great insights. Therefore, before you book an activity, it’s better to check if the operator is supporting a good cause or is committed to local communities.
Leave Your Destination the Same or Better Than Before
Once you’ve set foot in your dream destination, it’s time for you to enjoy. But at the same time, you also have to do it with responsibility. As a tourist, you should feel if you are helping out the local community and business without burdening the environment. It’s better to give back instead of just take. When you travel, show other people that you are a different person and when you return home, you will definitely feel proud that you’ve traveled responsibly. Make sure to leave your destination the same or even better than when you got there. Leave no footprint, unless it’s just a footprint in the sand.
Once you become conscious about the way you travel, it means that you’re already mindful and that is a step in the right direction. Imagine how much of a difference we can make for our planet if the billions of travelers in the world all try to travel responsibly. Therefore, on your next travel, whether you will be climbing mountains or hitting the beach, remember to take nothing but photos and great memories, and leave nothing behind but your footsteps.