It is not a new concept. In 1993 the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) already established its definition as “a way to manage all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be satisfied, while respecting cultural integrity, essential ecological processes. , biological diversity and the systems that sustain life ”.
The goal is to meet the needs of tourists and host regions, but at the same time protect and foster opportunities for the future.
In 2015, the member countries of the United Nations took another step forward by signing the 2030 Agenda, which puts people, the planet, prosperity and peace at the center, under the slogan of “leaving no one behind.” 17 Sustainable Development Goals are established, known as ODS, of which three explicitly mention tourism. They indicate the need to put into practice policies aimed at promoting sustainable tourism by creating jobs and promoting local culture and products.
HOW TO BE A RESPONSIBLE TRAVELER
But as important as these supranational initiatives and of each country is the concern among citizens around the world to minimize the impact of the tourism and travel industry on the planet.
Here are the best practices to act as a responsible traveler when you go out to see the world. The 20 tips are taken from the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.
1.- Research your destination to find out about its local customs, traditions and living conditions. It is a great way to understand the local community and to cultivate the illusion for the adventure that is going to live.
2.- Learn some basic words in the native language to be able to say hello, say goodbye or ask simple questions. In this way you will be able to establish more meaningful contact with the local community and its people.
3.- Enjoy and respect everything that makes the place you travel a unique and different destination: history, architecture, religion, dress and communication codes, music, art and gastronomy.
4.- Always ask for permission before taking a picture of someone. Their privacy is as important as yours is to you.
5.- Reduce environmental impact by taking care of nature’s resources, especially forests and wetlands.
6.- Respect wildlife and its natural habitat.
7.- Buy products that do not require the use of endangered plants or animals for their manufacture.
8.- Do not leave the areas of access allowed to visitors in the protected areas.
9.- Reduce water and energy consumption whenever possible. Leave behind you a minimal footprint and a good impression.
10.- Consume local products as long as they do not pose a health risk. In this way, you will contribute to favor the local economy and the families that make a living from it.
11.- Buy products and handicrafts manufactured in the area.
12.- Do not buy counterfeit products and articles prohibited by national or international regulations.
13.- Adopt the appropriate health precautions before and during the trip.
14.- Find out how you can receive medical assistance and how to contact the Spanish embassy in case of emergency.
15.- If you are going to participate in a volunteer activity, first make all the necessary inquiries.
16.- Complies with national laws and regulations.
17.- Respect human rights and protect children from exploitation. The mistreatment or abuse of minors is a crime.
18.- Avoid giving money to beggar children, it is preferable to support community projects.
19.- Do not take fragments of protected cultural property as a souvenir of your trip.
20.- When you return, tell your trip honestly and share your positive experiences.
As you can see, becoming a responsible traveler does not require any effort, rather on the contrary, all are advantages. By following these indications, your grain of sand becomes a mountain when you join the rest of the visitors.
Sourced Image: Sustainable Tourism
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