Welcome to Responsible Travel
IntroductionWelcome to responsible-travel.org. A message from the editor.
In an age where the opportunity to travel has never been so easy, international travel is no longer a luxury.
Tourism is now the world’s fastest growing industry. With this proliferation of travel comes a heavy responsibility on all travellers to ensure that the heritage and environment of those nations we seek to explore does not disintegrate under the rapid influx of new visitors.
Tourism accounts for over six percent of the world’s gross national product, providing up to ten percent of the world’s total employment. Yet the vast majority of tourists come from only 20 predominantly western countries.
No longer the preserve of the elite, since the 1960's tourism as an international industry hasn't looked back thanks to the package holiday and dropping flight prices. Today few areas are beyond the reach of the average western citizen.
Now every corner of the globe is a Sunday supplement photo shoot, or next season's hot destination.
Travel as a lifestyle choice to a greater extent has lead to the commodification of many areas of the world, creating a hyper-reality of very real destinations with equally real fragile environments, cultures and economies.
There is an argument that to not travel, is the most responsible form of travel. Guaranteed minimum impact.
Responsible-travel.org disagrees. Travel is all the enlightening, life changing clichés it promise to be. In 1967, International Year of the Tourist; the United Nations recognised that tourism is "a basic and most desirable human activity, deserving the praise and encouragement of all peoples and all governments". We agree.
Quite simply, if you do travel, be aware that the choices we make while away do have an impact.
Please browse the advice and articles herein, and stay a responsible traveller.
With the opportunity to travel, however, comes a new responsibility to all travellers to ensure that their activities do not upset or destroy the very cultures and environments we choose to visit.