05 Sep 2016 How to be a responsible tourist
Travel is about discovering new places and meeting new people. We urge our travelers to be responsible tourists and act accordingly. When visiting a destination, a traveler should be concerned about the protection and preservation of places, cultures and environments. We believe every visit can, and should be, of mutual benefit for host and guest.
Before you travel
Read as much as possible about the country you are going to visit.
Ask your operator questions, search the internet and visit bookshops.
Learn a few words of the local language and their customs when greeting and meeting new people.
Meeting local people
Remember that you are a guest. Be open and respect their way of living. Learn and experience.
Be extra careful when visiting holy places like churches, temples or sacred grounds. Be aware of how you dress according to local customs.
Always show respect for elderly people regardless status and work.
Show respect for beggars and think twice before you give anything to children. You may encourage them to continue begging.
Ask before taking pictures of people and do not interrupt if the situation does not allow. Some places may charge a small fee for taking photos.
Be polite and do not provoke.
Be careful where you smoke and drink alcohol. Smoking is not yet common in many small communities and travelers should not encourage local people to smoke. Some areas also have strict rules about smoking and drinking. Alcohol is in many places a major social problem.
Be careful with use of resources
Water shortages are common in many places so it is advisable to shower instead of bathing.
Do not let the tap water run unnecessarily while brushing your teeth etc.
Do not use more towels then necessary.
Turn off lamps and other electrical equipment when they are not in use.
Experience new food
Try local dishes in local restaurants.
Try not to eat all your meals at one place - but spread your money and increase your experience by trying out different restaurants.
Buy local food and contribute to local economic growth.
Support excursions that contribute to the local community
Choose environmentally friendly excursions even if it costs you a bit more money.
Use local transport when possible and don't be afraid to ask questions from where you buy the excursion.
Use local guides, that will give you a much better and insightful experience.
Be a conscious shopper
Do not buy products made of endangered species or plants. Cultural heritage is not a souvenir! Do not purchase such items or take "trophies" from places you are visiting. You can usually buy copies in the souvenir shop.
Bargaining is culture in many places. But don't let it become a sport! Pay a fair price that both parties are happy about.
Buy locally produced goods and services and take an interest in where the items are being produced.
Never buy drugs - you may end up spending years in prison, or worse in some places.
Be careful with your surroundings
Leave wildflowers and plants alone and enjoy them in their natural environment.
Respect wild animals and keep your distance for your own safety and to not disturb them. Don't feed wild animals or cause unnecessary noise.
Do not litter outdoors or in the street. If there is no bin - take your trash with you.
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