Tourists

When we visit beautiful places it's natural to want our holidays to have a positive impact on local people and their environments. Responsible travel is about more authentic holiday experiences that enable you to get a little bit more out of your travels, and give a little bit more back to destinations and local people. All holidays have positive and negative impacts locally. Responsible travel maximises the benefits, and minimises the negative effects of tourism.


The Responsible Tourist and Traveller

" The Responsible Tourist and Traveller" brochure was approved by the World Committee on Tourism Ethics in May 2005 and endorsed by UNWTO resolution A/RES/506(XVI) adopted at Dakar, Senegal, in December 2005, by which the General Assembly recommends the dissemination of this text to the travelling public worldwide.

Download "The Responsible Tourist and Traveller" brochure English

Before you book your holiday

Before you book your holiday

  • Read up on local cultures and learn a few words of the local language - travelling with respect earns you respect
  • Remove all excess packaging - waste disposal is difficult in remote places and developing countries
  • Ask your tour operator for specific tips for responsible travel in your destination
  • Ask your tour operator/hotel if there are useful gifts that you could pack for your hosts, local people or schools
  • Ask your tour operator whether they are local conservation or social projects that you could visit on your trip, and if/how you could help support them
Before you Travel

Before you Travel

  • Read up on local cultures and learn a few words of the local language - travelling with respect earns you respect
  • Remove all excess packaging - waste disposal is difficult in remote places and developing countries
  • Ask your tour operator for specific tips for responsible travel in your destination
  • Ask your tour operator/hotel if there are useful gifts that you could pack for your hosts, local people or schools
  • Ask your tour operator whether they are local conservation or social projects that you could visit on your trip, and if/how you could help support them
While on Holiday

While on Holiday

  • Buy local produce in preference to imported goods
  • Hire a local guide - you'll discover more about local culture and lives, and they will earn an income
  • Do not buy products made from endangered species, hard woods or ancient artefacts
  • Respect local cultures, traditions and holy places - if in doubt ask advice or don't visit
  • Use public transport, hire a bike or walk when convenient - it's a great way to meet local people on their terms and reduce pollution and carbon emissions
  • Use water sparingly - it's very precious in many countries and tourists tend to use far more than local people
  • Remember that local people have different ways of thinking and concepts of time, this just makes them different not wrong - cultivate the habit of asking questions (rather than the Western habit of knowing the answers).
When you Get Back

When you Get Back

  • Write to your tour operator or hotel with any comments or feedback about your holiday, and especially include any suggestions on reducing environmental impacts and increasing benefits to local communities. You will find independent holiday reviews from travellers on many responsibletravel.com holidays.
  • If you've promised to send pictures or gifts to local people remember to do so, many are promised and not all arrive!
  • Enjoy the memories, reflect on your experience and start planning your next trip!

Elsewhere on ICRT

Conferences

Conferences

Details of conferences - the Irish Responsible Tourism Conference series and others.

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Awards

Awards

Awards which celebrate Responsible Tourism successes. Discover new places to visit and learn from.

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Destinations

Destinations

Best practice for the development of tourism in destinations, examining a range of approaches worldwide.

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Discuss

Discuss

Comprehensive list of online forums that discuss various aspects of Responsible Tourism.

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