“The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.” – Thomas Merton
What is Responsible Travel?
Responsible travel is about making a positive impact on local communities by respecting the inhabitants and their customs, creating an understanding of one another by being responsible in attitudes and behaviours towards people’s traditions, living conditions and local heritage.
Responsible travel companies help fund local projects and employ indigenous people as local guides and are improving destinations to become self-sufficient and help provide a sustainable future for local communities and their future generations.
To travel and visit other lands is a privilege which we sometimes forget to see. Immersing yourself within the local culture and seeing yourself as a unity rather than an outsider will help create an understanding of one another and enrich all lives.
How is this different to Eco travel?
Responsible travel is about respecting the people in places that you visit. Eco travel focuses more on the environmental aspect and reducing your footprint, leaving the area as it was before. Taking a responsible approach to travel and tourism provides opportunities for long-term sustainability, benefiting local communities and enhancing the cultural integrity of the people we encounter along the way.
How can I be a responsible traveller?
- Choose responsible tour companies that use local guides and support local projects
- Ask permission before taking pictures of people or entering their homes
- Buy locally-made food and gifts
- Dress appropriately and modestly
- Learn some of the language
- When bartering remember that each penny means a great deal more to local people than to us