Welcome to the Responsible Travel Guide, a website dedicated to environmental and ethical travel advice. We bring to you the best places to visit, things to do and information to help you plan a responsible trip as well as listings of responsible travel projects and companies. On this guide, find advice on how to minimize their carbon footprint and environmental impact when traveling, and advice on how to be culturally sensitive in different parts of the world.
What is Responsible Travel?
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 recognized 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.
Responsible Travel and Ecotourism
Tips for Responsible Travel
Responsible travel is about benefiting the local people and their environments when we visit and to enjoy a more authentic holiday which enables you to get a more out of your travel experience and to back the local people.
Here are some tips for your responsible travel experience: learn about the local culture before and during your trip and show respect to the local cultures and traditions, use environment friendly transportation as much as possible (such as public transport, a bicycle or just walk), do not waste water as its very precious in many countries for the local people.
Global Carbon Emissions & Ecotourism
Traveling is one of the biggest sources of global carbon emissions, increasing global warming and climate change. By choosing a different mode of transport, you can minimize your CO2 emissions. Ecotourism strives to be of low impact to the local community. Responsible ecotourism minimizes the negative aspects of mass tourism on the environment and enhances the cultural integrity of local people.
What is Voluntourism?
Voluntourism is the combination of travel with volunteering in countries or communities affected by poverty, disaster or threats to their survival. For many, the act of combining holidays with service can lead to an enhanced traveling experience, achieving a greater level of integration with local communities as well as an education in the ways of life of those that are visited. The benefits to the communities visited are also immediately evident.
Giving something back to the world can be a highly rewarding & life changing. Volunteer travel options & volunteering holidays are a great way to supporting local communities & the environment.
What is Sustainable Tourism?
Sustainable Tourism means to leave a positive impact on to the local people and the environment of destinations we travel to. As an industry Sustainable Tourism is committed to making a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate income and employment for locals.
These are ways to contribute to sustainable tourism:
- Get to know and respect the local culture
- Respect the local environment
- Do not waste water
- Buy locally made products to benefit the local people
What is Responsible Travel?
Responsible travel is a new way of traveling abroad for those who are not into the usual mass tourism. It’s about respecting and benefiting local people and the environment. Responsible travel is also about getting to know the local cultures and environment in a more meaningful way. this can be done with a meaning full holiday such as the volunteer vacation where you volunteer abroad. The responsible traveler travels in smaller groups which has a much smaller impact on the local environment and communities, and also enables you to meet local people in an easier and more gentle way. Responsible travel is available around the world with popular options. You can do a meaningful vacation around the world. You can for example do meaningful travel in Asia such as volunteer thailand or you can volunteer in Vietnam. There are so many wonderful destinations around the world for your new travel experience.