Today, we need to support Responsible Travel more than ever. Increasing numbers of package tours, cheap flight tickets, globalization and the media made a few areas beyond the reach of an average tourist’s destruction.
Tourism is one of the biggest part of nations’ economies. And today, more and more countries are relying on tourism. Beginning from the 60s, people started to travel a lot. Soon after global companies involved in and like every industry, travel industry has also started to produce and sell for masses to increase their profits.
Tourism is similar to Prostitution
As an industry, unlike any other industries, tourism does not need any big investments to start selling. Because of that tourism is very similar to prostitution in many ways. If you have a nice body and willing to sell, you won’t have hard time to find customers.
You have the body and you want to sell your body, there is nothing wrong with that. Actually this is the best scenario in prostitution. But in reality, most of the prostitution is the result of Human trafficking which is the practice of people being tricked, lured, coerced or otherwise removed from their home or country, and then compelled to work with no or low payment. This is very similar to today’s tourism. Hidden parts of the nature and unknown cultures are being tricked to be part of this system for little or no payment.
At the end, when the destination lose its uniqueness, the only thing being left to the locals is the destruction. Here are some interesting articles to read about the after effects.
- Mass tourism and climate change could lead to destruction of world’s wonders
- How the tourism industry contributes to wildlife destruction
- Cultural Tourism or Cultural Destruction?
Today there are millions of blogs, forums, websites dedicated to travel (including iwasinturkey.com). And one way or another all of us are trying to effect more people to travel. This means more un-educated travelers on the road and more destruction.
Maybe we can not change the rules of the industry giants but we may effect independent travelers to become more responsible while they are traveling. That’s why I decided to put some useful tips for travelers. You are more than welcome to add yours in the comment section.
Responsible Travel Tips
- Be friendly and open minded. – Many customs and traditions that might seem weird to you are entirely normal to locals.
- Buy from the source. – Buy from local markets and shops rather than from hotel lobbies and airport departure lounges.
- Keep your promise to the locals. – If you’ve promised to send pictures or gifts to local people remember to do so.
- Obey the local law. – Remember laws apply to the country you are in and not the country you are from.
- Smile! You’re on camera. – Ask locals before taking pictures of them or their property.
- Stay at locally own places. – Stay in bed and breakfasts or locally run hotels and hostels, rather than international names.
- Learn a few words in the local language. – Simple words like “Hello”, “Please”, and “Thank you” can go a long way to help you communicate with the local people.
- Remember you are visiting someone else’s home. – Respect them and be considerate so that they can make your trip a pleasant, enjoyable experience.
- Reduce flying time and stopovers. – The worst carbon emissions happen during take off and landing. Consider travelling by train and bus where possible.
- Respect local cultures, traditions and holy places. – Women and men may be asked to cover up or wear a head cover in holy places – be prepared and respectful.
- Learn the culture. – What is good in your country can be rude there.
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