Responsible tourism focuses on travelling with the least negative impact on nature, and includes nature conservation, pollution control and appropriate improvements to tourism. In other words, it focuses on lessening the negative effects while increasing the positive effects of tourism.
Six important elements to responsible tourism
1. Available at every type of tourist attraction.
2. Emphasis on each attraction’s value and uniqueness.
3. Responsibility for tourism and natural resources.
4. Gain natural and cultural knowledge and experience from the trip.
5. Benefit tourism entrepreneurs sustainably in the long term.
6. Benefit local communities and return profits to tourism resources and the local environment.
Responsible Tourism’s attributes :
1. Continuity – natural and cultural resources are continually taken care of as the main resource of tourism.
2. Quality – focus on the quality of the environment, the quality of experience that tourists receive, and the quality of local people’s well being.
3. Balance – balance between tourism resources, the local communities’ needs, and the limit of resources.
Tips for responsible tourism
1. Don’t support fake green tourism.
There are many tourist attractions that advertise themselves as ‘green’ when, in fact, they have a negative effect on the environment. Don’t follow information blindly from travel books or websites.
2. Support local businesses.
If possible, stay at local homestays or farm stays owned by local people instead of hotels or resorts.
3. Turn off the light and unplug appliances before leaving your accommodation.
This is another great way to save energy because plugged-in appliances, despite being turned off, still function and waste energy.
4. Eat local food.
Eat local food made from local ingredients. Not only does it taste better, but you also get to support local farmers.
5. Don’t disturb wild animals and don’t destroy coral reefs.
These living beings live peacefully in their habitats so tourists must not disturb them. Appreciate them from afar. Don’t try to scare them or harm them in any way.
6. Reduce plastic usage
Use tote bags instead of plastic bags and carry a water canteen instead of buying a plastic water bottle. You will be a big help in reducing plastic waste that takes a very long time to decompose.