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Responsible Tourism: Become a Conscious Traveller

Posted by timothyneeble on July 18th, 2020

Accountability matters! Mankind has to realize this and put an end to mindless exploitation of Mother Nature and its various elements. Tourism explosion in the last few years had contributed a great deal to the world’s economy so much that many small nations started completely relying on foreign earnings. But over-tourism led to environmental pollution, deforestation, exploitation of local, indigenous cultures and an end to many exotic species of land and marine fauna by poachers. 

But, for the first time in centuries, the table has turned and Mother Nature has found the rare opportunity to rebound itself when all the perpetrators, the humans are locked down in their homes for months, all thanks to the widespread coronavirus pandemic. This window of hope is bearing fruits as we can see air quality increasing, water pollution receding and many supposedly lost species reappearing again on the face of the Earth. The COVID-19 pandemic is definitely a lesson we are all learning the hard way that as the dominant species on earth, we simply cannot take advantage of its resources for our selfish needs because these are shared by other living beings as well - It is their home too!

And, there are few others out there who tried to equip others with the importance of attaining sustainability and shouldering responsibility when it comes down to tourism, like the TreadRight Foundation. Such foundations have put together a number of resources to help travellers become more aware of sustainability in the travel space and include steps for making the best decisions.

But, you do not have to register yourself with any foundation or organisation to adopt a responsible behaviour towards Mother Nature when travelling across countries. You can do your own bit, even if it is a small step but that tiny effort is your first step taken towards attaining sustainability in the travel space. The United Nations designated 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development which presents an opportunity to raise global awareness about how responsible tourism can act as a vehicle for positive change. So, here is a list of six different things you can at least try to become a responsible tourist. 

4 Ways to Be a Responsible Traveller

The three pillars of sustainable tourism entail the employment of environmentally friendly practices such as reduce, reuse, recycle, and protecting the cultural, as well as, natural heritage and local communities thrive economically. 

Reduce carbon footing - Be a part of the emerging slow travel trend by cutting down your itineraries to a handful of places and spending more valuable time at each spot. Avoid travelling by air and enjoy a train journey which will award you with picturesque views of the landscapes you are passing by, something you miss while travelling by air. This is how you will reduce your carbon footing as well.

Donate to reputable social welfare organizations -  Kind gestures on the part of certain tourists like handing money or gifts to children and villagers in developing nations can trigger community conflicts and encourage bad habits such as begging and stealing among the local communities. So, it is advisable to approach legitimate social welfare organizations.

Say no to plastic - We have read often that non-biodegradable products like plastics do not decompose easily and are capable of realising harmful Greenhouse gases in the air. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean, a swirling mass of human trash stretching across thousands of miles of the ocean which includes gallons of throw-away plastic bottles and bags take hundreds of years to decompose, thereby wreaking havoc on the marine ecosystem, is directly responsible for harming the fragile environment underwater. So, cut back on plastic waste, it will also reduce your carbon footprint and also the use of petroleum-based ingredients which are a staple in manufacturing plastic bottles and bags. 

Avoid purchasing wildlife products - This is not a hidden fact that animal skin is often used in the fashion industry. Elephants are killed mindlessly by poachers for their tusks that are highly valuable in the ivory industry. Local villagers, for instance, in Vietnam’s Halong Bay sell beautiful sea-shells to foreigners to earn a few coffers. Tourists who purchase such products thinking that they are helping the poor villagers are inadvertently helping to support a growing marketplace that relies heavily on rare and exotic wildlife trafficking. So, never buy wildlife products - PERIOD!!! 

Also See: Mother Nature, Welfare Organizations, Various Elements, Travel Space, Tourism, Responsible, Reduce

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