Traveling is an experience that brings us countless benefits. This allows us to get to know new cultures, to disconnect from our daily lives and to contemplate unforgettable landscapes. But how does this affect the planet? Here are some tips for practicing responsible tourism.

What is responsible tourism?

To talk about actions that implement responsible tourism, it is necessary to know clearly what it consists of. When we travel, we tend to see only the positive side of that experience. That is, the benefits or well-being that we obtain as tourists.

However, the journey goes beyond the experience itself. And that involves a number of factors that we tend to overlook. First, there is a displacement that has an impact on the environment, because it leads to an increase in toxic emissions.

In addition, the enormous number of tourists that certain destinations experience without control translates into excessive soil erosion and damage to the most vulnerable ecosystems. On the other hand, the vast tourist offer and the growth of large businesses also have a negative impact on the local economy, since the revenues are not intended for small traders.

How can we implement responsible tourism?

Since it is not a question of drastically slowing down travel, but of doing it in a sustainable way, here are some actions that you can put into practice for responsible tourism. Thus, our impact on the destination is better and we thus contribute to bringing something positive for the latter.

Plan your trip

How many times did we drive around in circles until we found our destination through lack of planning? A useless waste of time and fuel, isn’t it? Well, it’s the same when we travel.

In order to practice responsible tourism, it is necessary to plan your trips, whatever the means of transport. Always try to choose those that offer efficient and energy-efficient driving. Use public transport, a bicycle or go on foot. Also, if you book in advance, you can get lower prices for the same service. Also choose solidarity destinations.

Look for sustainable accommodation

Responsible tourism involves the use of environmentally friendly accommodation. For example, we can pay attention to materials used in construction, natural or recycled insulation or efficient use of energy, such as solar panels.

Avoid generating more waste

If we don’t do it ourselves at home, it is more difficult to practice responsible tourism. When we are abroad, we worry less about wasting paper, water or energy, which is detrimental to the planet. Lights and air conditioning that stay on for hours, poorly closed taps, 15-minute showers… A waste of energy that harms the region and the planet in general.

So, in addition to carrying your travel information on electronic devices, avoid carrying unplanned maps and guidebooks that you will then throw away and practice responsible tourism wherever you go.

Do not alter nature

Responsible tourism is based on respect for the place we visit. This means that we must act in a civic way and not behave as if we were in an amusement park. Follow the signs that mark the boundaries of the areas, do not throw waste away and do not take objects as souvenirs . Think it’s not just you, but millions of tourists who want a souvenir.

And if you’re going to buy them, don’t contribute to practices like poaching. Avoid zoos and animal exhibits and opt for those dedicated to rescuing and reintegrating animals into the wild.

Collaborate with the local economy

If we want to practice responsible tourism, we must go to restaurants that offer typical dishes made with artisan products. However, the seasons must be respected to avoid having a negative impact, as is the case for molluscs and crustaceans. Handicrafts, local traditions or establishments managed by the local population are other variants of responsible tourism.

Respect the local people

Just because we have enough income to be able to move around and travel does not mean that we are above the local population. Instead of imposing our culture, we must integrate into their culture. This means that customs relating to dress, schedules, greetings or practices such as haggling must be observed if we are to have responsible tourism.

Reduce your waste

Responsible tourism involves recycling according to local regulations and avoiding disposable products. Even if you’re just passing through, use reusable bags and don’t hoard plastic unnecessarily.

There is only one planet for all, so practice responsible tourism and take care of the only home we have.

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