In case you didn’t catch it, yesterday was World Tourism Day, an annual event organised by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO for short). The day is organized to help promote the value of tourism and this year their message was clear: we need to be more responsible.
As part of this year’s event, the UN released a manual called “Travel. Enjoy. Respect.” Call it a guide to traveler etiquette as we trot across the globe, whether it’s on a beach vacation in Mexico or a backpacking trip of a lifetime around Asia. So how can we be more responsible as travelers according to the UN? These are some of the points covered in their manual, which you can read in full on the Tourism 4 Development website.
- Honor your hosts and our common heritage by researching your destination and learning a few words in the local language before you go. This will help you connect with your destination in a more meaningful way.
- Protect our planet by respecting wildlife and natural habitats and only accessing places open to visitors in protected areas.
- Support the local economy by purchasing locally-made products and handcrafts and paying a fair price to artisans and local vendors.
- Be an informed traveler by taking the appropriate health and safety measures during your trip and by choosing tour operators that have both environmental and community projects in place.
- Be a respectful traveler by respecting human rights and avoiding giving money to begging children. Instead, support a community project with your time or your money and promote your positive experiences once at home.
How can you be a more responsible traveler this year?