Last Updated on by Lohanna Reis
The outbreak of COVID-19 has dealt a severe blow to the global tourism industry. In the space of a few months, travel and leisure activities have come to a virtual standstill. People around the world are advised to stay at home and practice social distancing.
This unprecedented situation has placed immense pressure on businesses in the tourism sector. It also leads many to have their bookings canceled and close their doors indefinitely. However, amidst all the uncertainty, one thing is clear – now more than ever, responsible tourism is essential.
What is Responsible Tourism?
Responsible tourism is about making sure that your holiday has a positive impact on the local community and environment. It’s about being aware of the issues that can arise from the tourism and taking steps to minimize these issues as well.
There are many different aspects to responsible tourism, but some of the key areas are:
- Packing Lightly
One of the most important things to do while traveling is to avoid overpacking. Over-filled suitcases are not only bulky and heavy, but they also cost you money! Packing lightly will is an advantage that offers more flexibility when moving about on foot or by public transport.
As we all know, it can be difficult if carrying too much baggage isn’t an option due to your personal needs (such as size restrictions). Plus there’s always room leftover at home just waiting patiently until next time 🙂
- Researching Your Destination
Before you even start packing, it’s important to do your research on your destination. This means learning about the local culture, customs, and norms. By being informed, you can avoid any potential cultural missteps and show respect for the people and places you’ll be visiting.
- Supporting Local Businesses
When you’re on vacation, it’s important to try to support local businesses as much as possible. This means eating at locally-owned restaurants, shopping at local stores, and using local tour operators. Not only will this help the local economy, but it’s also a great way to get a more authentic experience.
- Staying on Designated Trails
Hiking is an incredible way to explore nature. This activity, also, can give a good effect to your body as well. Hiking can be very therapeutic and help you get outside your comfort zone! But there are some things that should never go in front of a hike – like trash or camping inside protected areas. These factors might cause the vegetation to grow back slowly.
A hiking trip would mean so much more if we were able to bring home something positive from our adventures too instead just leaving everything behind again once return trips finished.
- Respecting Cultural Norms
Respect is key when you travel to a different country. You should show your appreciation for the culture and people of that land, which includes dressing appropriately at all times or engaging in activities approved by their customs certification agency like visiting designated sites off-limits without permission (for instance–the tombs). These guidelines are from abroad experts who have traveled extensively throughout much more than just cities, by following it can help ensure an enjoyable experience while making sure no one gets offended because there are plenty of things worth offending them over!
How to promote Responsible Tourism during your Travels
- Educate yourself and others about responsible tourism
One of the best things we can do to promote responsible tourism is to educate ourselves and others about what it is and why it matters. There are lots of great resources out there on the topic, so take some time to learn more about responsible tourism and its potential to make a positive impact on the world. Then, share with others what you’ve learned! You can start by simply talking about responsible tourism with your friends and family, or you can get more involved by writing articles, creating informative videos, or organizing events on the topic.
- Advocate for responsible tourism policies and practices
Another way to promote responsible tourism is to advocate for policies and practices that support it. This can be done at both the local and global levels. For example, you might contact your local representatives and let them know that you support responsible tourism initiatives in your community. Or, you could join an organization that is working to promote responsible tourism globally and help them with their efforts.
- Be a responsible tourist yourself!
Of course, one of the best things we can do to promote responsible tourism is to practice it ourselves! There are lots of great ways to travel responsibly. To mention a few such as offsetting your carbon emissions, choosing eco-friendly accommodations, and respecting local cultures and customs. By being responsible tourists ourselves, we can set a good example for others and show that responsible tourism is possible.
How to be responsible even if your trip got canceled
We all know how much of a bummer it is when our travel plans get canceled. But instead of moping around, why not bring the world to your home?
Get creative with your space.
When you’re traveling, it’s easy to get used to feeling like there is plenty of space around. But now that your packing up and can’t go anywhere (even if only for a little while), make the most out of this situation by thinking about how much better things would be with some new ideas in mind!
If you don’t have a backyard, make the most of your living room. Set up an uncomfortable chair and put on some mood lighting to create an atmosphere where people would want to announce their drinking games in front of the TV at night!
If you have a backyard, set up a tent and camp out under the stars. Set up camp near some trees so you can make s’mores (or just roast marshmallows) over an open fire while roasting root BEERs or making cocktails in this romantic setting—because everyone needs more romance in their life every now and again
Connect with nature.
Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the great outdoors. If you have a backyard, take advantage of it and spend time outside. Go for a walk or run in your neighborhood, or explore a nearby park or nature trail.
If you don’t have access to a lot of green space, bring the outdoors inside by opening up your windows and letting in some fresh air. And don’t forget about your houseplants! Caring for plants can be a great way to relax and connect with nature.
Take a (virtual) trip.
There are now many ways to explore the world without even leaving your house. Thanks to Google Maps, you can take a street-level tour of just about anywhere in the world. And with virtual reality headsets becoming more and more affordable, you can even get a taste of what it’s like to be somewhere else.
There are also plenty of travel documentaries and TV shows that can help you explore different cultures from your living room. Here are some suggested sites:
- Tune in to the Houston Zoo Webcams and watch the animals that call this home! See Asian elephants wander through their enormous habitat, giraffes feed themselves with lettuce fed by guests at a platform overlooking their lush landscape. High above it all, you can see rumbling rhinos or flamingos floating next to the waterfall while below them chimps interact deeply enough for some snoozing under hammocks; tomorrow’s adventure awaits.
- Visit the Great Wall of China without having to plan a thing! You can go on an informative, interactive, and enjoyable hike through this historic site with one simple click.
- Take a virtual tour of Yosemite with VirtualYosemite, and explore all 250+ locations within the park. You can zoom in on 360° panoramas to see details from high-resolution images that are available year-round! Dizzying views atop famous cliffs or waterfalls will make your jaw drop as you take these journeys around nature’s beauty spots across California’s most iconic national parks.
- Step into the past with this interactive virtual tour of ancient historical artifacts from Africa, Asia, and more! You’ll be able to see some great exhibits that are sure to add something new for you in your studies or just as fun hobbies. The British Museum also features an amazing Rosetta Stone so visitors can learn how it was discovered while studying languages across Europe over 2 thousand years ago.”
Hot on the heels of recent health scares, many people are looking for ways to help out. Responsible tourism is one way that we can all make a difference by being mindful when traveling – there’s no need in compromising your safety or treatment rights just because you’re abroad!
By following these simple guidelines while visiting countries impacted by this pandemic (or any other), YOU will be doing something positive with meaning during these trying times.
Planning your next trip?