Tourism plays a crucial role in creating jobs and facilitating economic expansion worldwide. In fact, before the corona pandemic, ten percent of the global GDP depended on tourism.

Since traveling has become easier and more convenient for people from all walks of life, it is not surprising to see a massive rise in tourism.

As people are getting more interested in tourism and sightseeing, it becomes vital to ensure that they follow responsible tourism that does not cause any damage to the environment. Read the article below to learn more about responsible tourism and its benefits.

What is Responsible Tourism?

The unprecedented rate of pollution in recent years has made people realize that they need to change their habits and adopt ways to preserve the environment. Responsible tourism is a strategy that encourages travelers to be responsible for safeguarding the environment of the place they are visiting. 

Responsible tourist behavior also includes respecting the culture and traditions of the local community. Responsible tourism is rapidly becoming popular because it helps lessen and reverse the destruction of nature caused by travel in the past. The negative impact of traveling encompasses damage to cultural heritage, littering, overcrowding, and social injustice to the local community. 

Responsible travel tours emphasize appreciating and protecting the natural surroundings, customs, and interests of the people living in the area you are visiting. By doing so, responsible tourism strives to restore the balance that reckless mass tourists have tipped to one side. The picture below from Pinterest shows a responsible tourist traveling by foot to prevent pollution in a serene area.

Responsible Tourism

What Is The Difference Between Sustainable Tourism And Responsible Tourism?

Although both sustainable tourism and responsible tourism aim to protect the natural environment, there is a slight variation between the two. However, many times people use them interchangeably, which leaves some confusion.

Sustainable Tourism

The World Tourism Organization, a subdivision of the United Nations Organization, explains the meaning of sustainable tourism in the following way.

  1. To develop and promote tourism, people should use environmental resources while supporting vital ecological processes to safeguard biodiversity and prevent damage to natural heritage. This would mean banning tourist activities during breeding season etc.
  2. People must also be considerate towards the socio-cultural practices of the local communities because Sustainable tourism revolves around preserving their cultural heirlooms and time-honored traditions. It also focuses on developing understanding and patience between different communities for long-lasting interaction.

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Responsible Tourism

Responsible tourism meaning is slightly different because it deals with the accountability and personal responsibilities of tourists and the locals to guarantee sustainable tourism. A responsible traveller makes wise decisions keeping in mind the interests of the locals so that his/her actions bear a positive impact on the locals.

27 September every year is celebrated as world responsible tourism day, and blue is the color of World Tourism Day.

Official host for World Tourism Day 2022 is been confirmed as Indonesia.  Côte d’Ivoire country in West Africa hosted in the year of 2021 and India in 2020.

Why is Responsible Tourism so Significant?

The benefits of responsible tourism are many. Hence this practice is becoming increasingly famous. Given below are some of the positive effects of responsible tourism.

  • It forges a bond between thetraveler and the local community. When tourists feel like a member of the local community, they want to exhibit responsible tourist behavior to ensure the well-being of the locals.
  • Sustainable tourism and responsible tourism provide job opportunities to the locals, guaranteeing better living and economic growth without harming the natural environment.
  • Responsible tourism does not enclose the detrimental effects of mass tourism on the economy, social and cultural standing, or the environment.
  • Engaging in responsible tourism enables us to understand the culture and the social and environmental problems of different communities by establishing cordial relations with the locals.

The picture below from Pixabay shows how mass tourism and irresponsible behavior can destroy the beauty of the natural environment.

Responsible Tourism

How Can You be a Responsible Traveller?

Choose to travel in the most environment-friendly manner. Refrain from using flights because airplanes demand a lot of fuel which damages the environment. As a responsible traveller, consider going somewhere nearby, especially if you do not have enough time to overland there.

Moreover, once you arrive at your destination, travel in an eco-friendly manner while exploring and partaking in different activities. Share taxis with others or opt for group transport by buses. You can also commute by train to minimize your contribution to pollution. The picture below gives an excellent example of responsible travel via a sailboat that relies on wind and manpower.

Responsible Tourism

Moreover, be vigilant about not littering. Despite what other tourists or the locals around you do, refrain from throwing garbage by the roadside. Collect all your trash until you can dispose of it in a non-polluting manner. Many countries do not focus on developing stable sanitation and waste-disposal systems. Hence the locals end up throwing refuse in rivers and lakes. Regardless of that, try to set an example and throw your trash responsibly. If you have an option to recycle, do that too!

Sustainability in Travel

Sustainability in travel has become a major concern for tourists. A number of responsible travelers are opting for brands that offer sustainable or environmentally-friendly travel options.

One such brand is Intrepid, which has combined sustainability in travel into its identity. It organizes tours keeping in mind the preservation of the local community and environment. 

Responsible Travel is another example of a tourism company that takes pride in providing sustainable tourism before profit. 

Now that you are aware of the benefits of responsible tourism, next time you wish to go on an adventure, consider hiring the expert services of a responsible travel company to help you enjoy your trip while decreasing any negative impact on the natural environment. 

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Photo by Andrei Mike on Unsplash
Image by Luiz Antonio Toni from Pixabay

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