Your Travel Choices make a difference
Responsible travel is travel with a purpose. When choosing a destination, accommodation or tour operator, consider choices that work to protect the environment while benefiting local cultures and communities. Sustainable lodging and tours come in a range of prices, depending on remoteness plus level of comfort and convenience you desire. Regardless, everyone has the potential to be a responsible traveler!
With some careful planning, you too can improve the quality of your trip while making a real difference to the people and places you visit. Research, ask questions, and choose wisely!
Some Quick Tips
- Look for information and resources on responsible travel, ecotourism, or sustainable tourism. Search The International Ecotourism Society for sustainable travel practices and good solutions.
- Choose guidebooks with information about your destination’s environmental, social and political issues. Check out websites, do your own vetting to accommodation and tour companies.
- Find out a destination’s commitment to environmental and social certification. Travel and tourism certification programs have been created to rate and rank the environmental and social impacts of tourism businesses. Certification programs use outside, independent auditors. Their programs’ tools distinguish genuine ecotourism, sustainable products and services from those that merely use “eco-” as a marketing tool to attract consumers.
- Before you confirm your booking, inquire on social and environmental policies, such as: What is your environmental policy? Your social development policy? What percentage of your employees are locals? Do you support projects that directly benefit the local community and area’s natural resources? Do you have eco-label ratings, or have you won credible eco-awards? Contact lodges, hotels and operators and verify facts with those who have firsthand knowledge of the places and companies.
With the right choices, you can have a memorable and unique trip while leaving as little a negative impact as possible on an area’s culture, economy or environment.