With low-cost airlines, more open borders and the internet making us all aware of fascinating places to visit, it’s little wonder tourism is on the increase.
With that comes a significant impact on resources, pollution and local communities. So, it’s important to think about how we travel and what we do when we arrive.
That doesn’t mean responsible tourism is boring – no! It can actually provide more enjoyable experiences and give you an interesting, exciting and fun holiday.
Why is responsible tourism important to me?
If we make holiday choices that support tourism, through respecting the culture, environment and quality of life of people living there, then it means benefits for local people and us.
Here are a number of ways in which you can be a responsible tourist…
Holiday with a company that works with local communities
If the holiday company employs local staff and works with local companies and communities, then that’s a great start. Holidaying with CLC World Resorts & Hotels does just that with staff employed locally and local produce purchased wherever possible.
Take care with water
In the first instance, try to conserve water where you can. The average hotel guest uses more than 200ln of water every day, which is a lot. Places like Andalucía sometimes suffer from drought and it’s more than a hosepipe ban, when it does.
Secondly, try to minimise the use of bottled water. If you’re staying where the tap water is safe, then use that rather than plastic bottles of mineral water. It also helps cut down on unnecessary plastic waste.
Support the locals – eat, buy, explore!
Eat in local restaurants rather than international chains – you’ll get a taste of the local culture through their dishes and who knows, it could become your next favourite food.
If you’re staying in a self-catering apartment, why not pop along to the local street market to buy your fruit and veg? Not only will it be fresh, locally produced and (probably) cheaper than the supermarket, it’s a great experience.
Head out with a local guide and explore new places. Whether it’s a walking tour, on segways or horseback, get to see the hidden places at your holiday destination.
Respect the local culture
Local can mean regional as well as national or religious. Adhere to local dress codes and treat monuments and religious suites with due respect. Packing a shawl or scarf is a good idea as some sites require at least your shoulders, if not your head, to be covered when visiting.
Learn the language
You don’t have to be fluent in Turkish, Spanish or French, but a few words such as ´please´, ´thank you´ and ´good morning´ will be appreciated.
In a nutshell, you can have a great holiday made even more special by sharing experiences with local people and being a responsible tourist. So, download a language app, pack a scarf and get ready to make your holiday extra special.
If you’re interested in learning more about responsible tourism, click here.