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Tips and Resources for Travellers

By using socially and environmentally responsible tour operators, hotels and outfitters, you can ensure that your trip contributes to conservation efforts and to the well being of communities. Your travel choices make a difference.

Ten Questions to Ask Before You Book
1. What is your environmental policy?
2. What percentage of your employees are local citizens?
3. Do you support any projects to benefit the local community?
4. Do you support conservation? How?
5. Is your business certified?
6. Have you won any eco-awards?
7. Are you recommended by any reputable NGOs or conservation groups?
8. What sorts of policies have you implemented to reduce water consumption, conserve energy or recycle wastes?
9. How do you educate visitors about local natural areas, wildlife, energy conservation, and local culture?
10. How do you monitor these practices?

Once You Arrive at Your Destination…

At the hotel: Ask about environmental policies and practices. Talk with staff about working conditions. Does the hotel support community projects?

Language: Learn a few words of the local language and use them.

Dress: Read up on local conventions and dress appropriately. In many countries, modest dress is important.

Behavior: Be respectful of local citizens’ privacy. Ask permission before entering sacred places, homes or private land.

Photographs: Be sensitive to when and where you take photos/video of people. Always ask first.

Environment: Respect the natural environment. Never touch or harass animals. Always follow designated trails. Support conservation by paying entrance fees to parks and protected sites.

Animal products: Never purchase crafts, clothing, furniture or other products that are derived from members of protected or endangered animal species.

Pay a fair price: Don’t engage in overly aggressive bargaining for souvenirs. Don’t short-change on tips for services.

Buy local: Choose locally owned lodges, hotels and B & Bs. Use local buses, car rental agencies and airlines. Eat in local restaurants, shop in local markets and attend local events. That way money spent in the community stays in the community.

Hire local guides: Enrich your experience and support the local economy. Ask guides if they are licensed and live locally. Are they recommended by tour operators?

Responsible Travel Myths

Myth: I have to sacrifice quality and luxury of accommodations.
Reality: Many lodges, hotels and B & Bs have very high standards for quality and luxury. They bring nature and culture within your reach, while still assuring a high level of comfort.

Myth: It’s expensive!
Reality: Responsible tours and accommodations come in a range of prices, depending on the level of comfort and convenience you desire.

Myth: It means traveling to tropical jungles.
Reality: Responsible travel often brings to mind images of exotic tropical locations, but the reality is that destinations, accommodations and tour packages exist on every continent.

Myth: It’s for backpackers.
Reality: People of all interests, ages, incomes and backgrounds can travel responsibly, and there are plenty of family-friendly options.

Have a great, sustainable journey!

Read the original article quoted from The Rainforest Alliance.

The article is uploaded by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’.

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Posted in Best practice, Education and qualification, Sustainability.

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