Responsible Tourism is not just a phase but a conscious awakening to make travel a happy, better experience for the travellers as well as the locals. It involves a rightful combination of social, economic and environmental responsibility on the traveller's part. It leads wholesome growth of the local community and its resources and helps the travellers contribute to it.
As a traveller, you can get one step closer to the place you are visiting by understanding the local community, their culture and helping them preserve and flourish it. It also comes as one's responsibility to not exploit any natural resource/cultural heritage while at a place. The idea is to get sensitized about the nature and the culture of any place you travel to.
Here are a couple of things you should always keep in mind to become a contributing part of Responsible Tourism:
- Be curious about a place when you travel.Try to learn about the place's culture, community and things that matter to them.
- At all times, try and use water as efficiently as possible. Even if you have easy access to it. Another practice would be to use a safe source of water to refill your bottle than buying new sealed plastic bottles every time you need water.
- Don't litter as you travel. Put the waste and cigarette butts in the dustbin. Carry back plastic waste and batteries you don't need as much as you can as many small villages do not have the amenities to dispose them.
- Invest and support in the local community during your travel. Be it eating out, groceries and accomodation, it boosts their economy and your feel good factor.
- While you're at a place, it is a good idea to also visit the places that are not under the typical tourist attraction list.
- Also, use electricity efficiently whenever possible.
- Learning basic conversation in the local language goes a long way in developing a bond between traveller and the locals.
- Respect people's privacy. Always check with them before you take a photograph of them. Also, when travelling outdoor, avoid picking things, plucking flowers unless you're told it's okay to do so.
- While bargaining at such places may not be a good idea every time, you could always settle for a reasonable price that is fair for both the parties.