Sustainable Tourism

What Does It Mean To Be A Responsible Tourist in 2022? And How To Become One?

Creating a better place to live

In with the old and out with the new. Many travelers are now opting to be responsible tourists, especially after seeing some of the effects of mass tourism on historical and rural sites. 

The general idea of responsible tourism is about making “better places for people to live and visit.” This type of tourism emerged in 2002 in Cape Town and is celebrated on 27th of September each year by the WTM. [1]

Fighting Against Over Tourism

You probably heard about Over Tourism and its impact on economy, environment, and cultures! Over Tourism or what is known as Mass Tourism, unfortunately gives a false pretense into culture by focusing less on the impact of local culture and more about money On paper, It might look good as an affordable  way to travel, but it lacks a lot of cultural experiences and highlights the traveler as just another number at the end of the day . But nevertheless, Over Tourism may cause a direct cause of the following:

  1. Destroying the Natural Environment and Ecosystems
  2. Rapid Increase of Waste in Historical and Natural Sites
  3. Increase Housing Prices for Locals and inflation rates.
  4. Overlook the Medical Efforts to Fight Against the Pandemic

What is Responsible Tourism?

Responsible traveling is a great way to help local communities around the world and increase the well-being of the hosts while traveling. It is not as easy or accessible as other types of tourism (not like seeing an ad to travel and book immediately), it is a form of tourism that has emerged with the rising number of tourists.

Responsible Tourism Definition:

A form of tourism that respects and contributes to the sustainability of the environment, culture, and local communities and characterizes travelers to reduce the negative impact against mass tourism. As taken directly from Capetown’s Official Website[2]

What is the difference between Responsible Tourism and Sustainable Tourism?

While both types of tourism contribute to “sustainable” development of local communities around the world, there are some differences between them such as:

Sustainable TourismResponsible Tourism
Sustainable Tourism is the goal of Responsible Tourism.Responsible Tourism aims to develop local communities in a sustainable way.
Sustainable tourism mainly focuses on increasing the positive impact of tourists.Responsible Tourism is about decreasing the negative impact of tourists.
Sustainable Tourism is a long-term goal.Responsible Tourism is a short-term goal.
Sustainable Tourism needs the efforts of everyone to be in action.Responsible Tourism can be held by individuals, companies, hosts, etc..
Sustainable tourism is about destinations, cultures, and experiences.Responsible Tourism is about travelers’ behaviors and actions.
The Difference Between Sustainable Tourism and Responsible Tourism

If you want to share this, we have made an infographic for you to share easily on social media.

sustainable tourism vs responsible tourism
Sustainable Tourism vs. Responsible Tourism

What are Responsible Tourism Characteristics:

According to the Cape Town Declaration in 2002, here are the characteristics of Responsible Tourism:

  1. Minimize the negative economic, environmental and social impacts;
  2. Generate greater economic benefits for local people and enhance the well-being of host communities, improve working conditions and access to the industry;
  3. Involve local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances;
  4. Make positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage;
  5. Provide more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues;
  6. Provide access for physically challenged people;
  7. Be culturally sensitive, create respect between tourists and hosts, and build local pride and confidence.

“Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being.”

– Kevin Kruse

Now, let’s get to the bottom line.

How to Be a Responsible Tourist in 2022?

  1. Support the local economy
  2. Be a local, not a tourist
  3. Stay overnight, not just for one day
  4. Minimize your usage of transportation
  5. Don’t buy any rare objects or take any natural souvenirs
  6. Explore non-popular areas and book your trips in out of the season time
  7. Search for local hosts and accommodations before hotels

As we have mentioned earlier, being a responsible tourist is not as easy as it might seem, but it is achievable and trust us when we say, it’s worth it.

1. Support the local economy.

Let’s face it, are you traveling from one country to another to eat at big-chain, fast food restaurants? Of course not!  In responsible tourism we are aiming to support the local community and economy. So try a local restaurant, and purchase your souvenirs from locally owned shops.

2. Be a local, not a tourist.

This is an important point, being a local in a place will unlock the hidden gems in it. While as a traveler you’ll have the advantage over the locals since you’re seeing those beautiful places for the first time. But, you still have to act as a local by doing the following:

  1. Respect the local Cultures and Beliefs.
  2. Don’t litter and search for where you can dispose of your trash.
  3. Ask for permission before taking someone’s image.
  4. Respect the locals’ dress code.
  5. Learn about the language and culture before traveling.

3. Responsible Tourists Stay overnight, not just for one day.

One day trip might seem as a good idea for you as a traveler, but trust us, the locals hate it. One day travelers overcrowd the sites and increase the prices of daily used services such as transportations and restaurants. That is why you should consider before traveling to stay overnight in your next destination.

4. Minimize your usage of transportation.

Hello, Global Warming here again! the 20th century crisis that we have not dealt with until now.

When travelers reach a  new place they are enthusiastic about seeing the site in it and exploring it, which is something understandable, we all do it. But on the other hand, if you can reach out to where you want to go walking, it is highly recommended to reduce CO2 emission. 

We know you might not like this idea! But C’mon it’s Global Warming. [3]

5. Don’t buy any rare objects or take any natural souvenirs.

Unfortunately, in historical sites or/and natural sites, there are some people who financially and illegally benefit from what they DON’T OWN! Selling the tourists objects that are not legal for them to buy or taking natural souvenirs that have a huge negative impact on the local environments. While visiting new places try to buy souvenirs from certified shops only. And if you want to know where to buy, look ask around locals who will show you places that you may not have thought about before. Fortunately, with Global Tribes, you get a local alongside you who will make this experience easier. 

6. Explore non-popular areas and book your trips in out of the season time.

Have you ever visited the beach during a hot day in August? You probably did. And we are sure that the place was crowded so you tried to shorten your trip and go home to relax and enjoy some quality time with yourself. And this is true in what comes to tourism. Try to book your trip out of the popular times and check also for non-popular areas in your destinations. Trust us when we say there are a lot of hidden gems you need to see. 

7. Search for local hosts and accommodations before hotels.

When traveling, make sure you create once in a lifetime experiences with your hosts, and for better experiences, you can check with your travel agency about exploring local accommodations. Local Accommodation gives the power for hosts to show you more about the culture and minimize the impact of using the landscape for commercial purposes to preserve the community and its values.

Do you know that we give the options for local hosts accommodation in each package we offer? Check out our trips now.

Final Thoughts on Responsible Tourists

Being a responsible traveler is not as easy as it sounds and may take some thoughtful practice . But this form of traveling is socially conscious to positively impact the efforts to preserve the environment, cultures and sustainable development. Do you have any more ideas about how to be a responsible tourist? Share it in the comments.

Global Tribes
1) World Travel Market2) The Cape Town Declaration3) Sea Going Green
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