If you’ve heard about sustainable tourism but you’re not really sure what it is or where to start, you’ve come to the right place.
By the end of this article, you’ll know the fundamental aspects of being a responsible tourist. Then you can make a positive impact on the places you visit.
Sustainable tourism means to satisfy the needs of present tourists while making sure the needs of future tourists can be satisfied. It’s the same definition as sustainability, but for tourism.
Being a responsible tourist doesn’t have to be complicated. You just have to remember the basic three elements called the 3 P’s.
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The 3 P’s of sustainable tourism
There are three elements in sustainable tourism, namely planet, people and profit. When you’re visiting a destination the 3 P’s are what you will have an impact on.
And depending on your activities it will either be a negative or positive impact.
But that’s why we’re here, to make sure your time there is enjoyable for you and for everyone else involved. So let’s get into it. Below are the basics of what you can do to be a responsible tourist in each aspect of the 3 P’s.
The biggest aspect of being a responsible tourist is to limit your use of the destination’s natural resources.
The reason for this is because tourism activities often use up more resources than the local inhabitants. Leaving the locals with the short end of their own stick.
So, make sure you look after your water and electricity consumption. Try to use even less than you would at home.
Also, visit and support nature reserves as much as possible. This way you’ll help the destination with their conservation initiatives and keep the reserves up and running.
You should also be very mindful when you’re out and about in the natural environment. Stay on designated paths to make sure you don’t destroy any vegetation. And drive carefully so you don’t run over any animals.
Don’t take anything but pictures and throw away your trash in designated dumpsters. Better yet, try to be as zero-waste as possible.
And if you’re really up for the challenge, see if you can get accommodation in an eco-lodge or somewhere with sustainable initiatives.
There are many tourist destinations that use animals as an attraction. Nobody can resist the unusual or the extremely cute so it draws tourists easily.
But looking after animal welfare is not an easy task. Many of these operations are neglecting the health and happiness of these animals and abusing them without any tourist ever finding out about it.
So, if you want to visit an animal attraction make sure you do proper research first. Find out if there are sustainable operators in the area.
Even if something looks harmless, like taking pictures with a friendly seal, make sure that animal isn’t being exploited and becoming dependent on the handler for food.
If you’re a hunter, or you know someone who is, there are ways to hunt that are sustainable. You can participate in a culling initiative of the destination you wish to hunt in.
Culling is often necessary to get rid of alien species recking havoc on a native environment. Or to control the population of a certain species that doesn’t have many predators.
If you like to trophy hunt animals such as lions or other endangered species, please reconsider.
Rather do your research and see if you can find the animal you wish to hunt in a culling initiative. Or choose an alternative animal in that initiative.
The local community of a tourist destination should be the ones who benefit from tourism the most. After all, they are the ones who allow tourists to experience their way of life and use their natural resources.
But that is often not the case. As a responsible tourist, making sure the local community is impacted positively should be a priority.
Supporting the local community
There are many places where locals depend on tourism to make a living. So make sure whenever you buy something that your money is going directly to the locals. Go to local restaurants and buy souvenirs made by locals.
And ask lots of questions about where the products come from and who makes them. That way you help build up cultural pride and you’re making sure no one is being exploited.
If you’re not entirely sure how to do that on your own, you can always book a tour through Urban Adventures. They take you to all the local places and give you an authentic experience you might not otherwise be able to have.
What’s more, all the tour guides are locals who create their own tours to show you the best of their city.
So not only are you getting an insider experience, you’re supporting the local community and making a positive impact.
If you want to find out more about what they do and their values, click the button below to go to their website.
With tourism comes a lot of bad influence. I’m not trying to be mean, it’s just how it is. When people are on vacation they’re having fun, drinking more often and are a lot more relaxed and friendly.
They invite some locals to have a drink with them and take part in the fun.
Unfortunately what’s fun for the tourist becomes a dependency problem for the local. Then there’s also the case of tourists wanting some sun, sand and sex, or just sex.
In comes the opportunists who offer sex tourism. Many of which getting their prostitutes from trafficking operations.
Being a responsible tourist means respecting the locals, not getting them into trouble and avoiding all exploitation. You can be friendly and still be respectful.
When visiting a destination it’s important to get accommodation that’s owned by a local. This also counts for shopping experiences, restaurants and other tourist attractions.
The reason for this is that when tourists spend their foreign money at a destination, the local economy improves. And when that happens, the local community can have a better quality of life.
But this only happens when that money is spent in places where the local community owns the products and services.
If it so happens that you find yourself in a place where only well-known international accommodation, restaurants and shopping are safe, make sure these organisations are employing locals and paying them a fair wage.
If they aren’t or you can’t find that information, send the organisation an email asking them about their community outreach programs. And urge them on to have a better impact on the community they operate in.
In a nutshell
To all my readers who like to skim read, I got you.
Being a responsible tourist means to:
- Use as little water and electricity as possible
- Go to nature reserves
- Stay on designated paths to avoid destroying vegetation and harming animals
- Don’t take anything from nature and don’t litter.
- Don’t participate in animal attractions unless they are sustainable
- Go culling instead of hunting.
- Visit local attractions and buy souvenirs from locals ( or go on a tour with Urban Adventures)
- Don’t offer locals alcohol or take part in sex tourism
- Respect the local culture
- Use accommodation, restaurants and shopping with local ownership
- Make sure organisations employ locals and pay them a fair wage.
Those are the basics of being a responsible tourist. I hope you found this article helpful and that you make a positive impact on your next visit. If you have a question or some more tips, please leave a comment below.
Cheers for now,
Pin for later:
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