Following these practical steps will make your travels as rewarding and gratifying as possible for you, for the people you meet, and for the places you visit:
Research your destination to learn about local customs, traditions and social conditions. It’s a great way to build understanding of the local community and excitement for your adventure ahead.
Learn to speak a few words in the local language. This can help you connect with the local community and its people in a more meaningful way.
Experience and respect all that makes an international destination different and unique, from its history, architecture, religion, dress and communication codes, to its music, art and cuisine.
Always ask before taking photographs of other people as their privacy matter as much as yours.
Reduce your environmental impact by being a guardian of natural resources, especially forests and wetlands. Respect wildlife and their natural habitats. Purchase products that aren’t made using endangered plants or animals. In protected areas, access only the places open to visitors. Reduce your water and energy consumption whenever possible. Leave only a minimum footprint and a good impression behind.
Buy locally-made handcrafts and products. Respect livelihoods of local vendors and artisans by paying a fair price. Do not buy counterfeit products or items that are prohibited by national/ international regulations. Hire local guides with in-depth knowledge of the area.
Take appropriate health and safety precautions prior and during your trip. Know how to access medical care or contact your embassy in case of an emergency. Research well before engaging into volunteerism. Choose tourism operators with environmental policies and community projects in place.
Observe national laws and regulations. Respect human rights and protect children from exploitation. Abusing children is a crime. Refrain from giving money to begging children and support community projects instead. Take photos instead of protected cultural artefacts as mementos of your trip. Provide honest travel reviews upon your return and promote your positive experiences.
Source: The Tips for a Responsible Traveller were developed by the World Committee on Tourism Ethics and are based on the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.