Responsible travel has become an increasingly important aspect of modern tourism. It encompasses principles such as sustainability, cultural sensitivity, and environmental awareness to ensure that travellers have a positive impact on the communities and countries they visit. As people have become more aware of the impacts of their travels, they in turn seek travel companies who align with their beliefs. Those who demonstrate their eco-credentials in the trips that they offer.
What does Responsible Travel mean to us?
At The Beyond Tourism Co., responsible travel is at the heart of what we do. It means tourism that is sustainable, maximises the positive effects of travel and minimises its negative impacts. It ensures that the cultures and natural environments of our destinations are protected, respected and healthy for future generations to enjoy.
It involves being conscious of your actions and how they may affect not only the environment, but also the local culture and people of that destination. Responsible travel ensures that travellers respect the cultures and traditions of their destination, while also taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint and minimise the negative impacts on both people and the environment.
For us it is also about making sure our responsible experiences aren’t at the expense of travellers’ enjoyment. The more fun and engaging a trip, the more people will want to do it – a win-win in our eyes for everyone!
How you can make a difference
As a responsible traveller, you should think about how your actions can have an impact on the destination, its people, and its natural resources. Being conscious of these different elements when planning your trip can help ensure that your travels are sustainable and beneficial for all involved.
When it comes to being a responsible traveller, there are plenty of small steps you can take to ensure you’re travelling more responsibly:
1. Respect cultural differences
Do your research before you leave home. Having even a basic understanding of the different cultures, customs and traditions in the country you are visiting will help you enjoy the journey that much more and lessen the risk of offending someone. Read up on the religions observed in the destination and follow any recommended guidelines for what to wear, e.g. covering your legs and shoulders when visiting temples in Asia.
2. Learn the basics
Having a few words in the local language will be not only advantageous but also shows politeness. Make sure you know hello, please and thank you as a minimum – a little effort is usually appreciated.
3. Ask first
If you want to take a photo or video which includes other people, be respectful and ask them if it’s ok beforehand.
4. Go local
Try to purchase souvenirs, handicrafts and clothing from local shops where the money goes back into the community. The same applies for where you eat – try local delicacies from locally-owned restaurants and cafes where you can. You will often find the produce is great quality and nothing beats that home-cooked flavour! Plus you will be supporting the local people.
5. Consider where you stay
There are plenty of hotels to choose from in most destinations, we use locally-owned hotels wherever possible so that you get an authentic experience and the local community benefits too.
6. Go slow
Choose more eco-friendly modes of transport if you can, taking local trains rather than flights for instance. Stay a little longer in each place, really getting to know the destination and adopting a slower pace of travel.
7. Reduce plastic use
This one can be really hard when travelling but making small choices can have a big impact. Drink tap water (if it is safe in that destination) or buy a large bottle and refill your smaller bottle from there. Ask for no straws, try to avoid takeaway drinks and food to minimise single-use plastics and take your own bag to the supermarket.
8. Respect the environment & wildlife
Do you research (or let us help you) when choosing a wildlife experience to ensure they are not mistreated and if visiting a National park make sure you follow all the guidelines set out, they are there to protect you as well as the flora and fauna from harm.
Read more about our responsible travel ethos and more tips on how to travel responsibly in our about Us section. Ready to start planning your next responsible adventure? Get in touch with us to kick off the conversation.