These are the things that a sustainable tourist should do.
For many countries, tourism is fundamental in the economy. The income generated by this industry has helped local communities to emerge and therefore improve their quality of life. But tourism leaves not only positive traces.
In places such as Thailand, Venice, and Bali, the huge number of tourists arriving annually is causing negative effects such as pollution, displacement of the local population and animal abuse.
As travelers, we must be respectful of the cultures and natural resources of the places we visit. Each of our acts can make a difference and in GoChile we tell you how to do it:
These are the 10 keys to be a sustainable traveler:
1. Do not leave trash: throw your waste in garbage cans and if there is none nearby, take them with you until you find one. A tip to reduce waste is to walk with a reusable water bottle and fill it in your hotel. A green tourist doesn’t buy plastic bottles.
2. Do not support animal abuse: in countries such as Thailand or Bolivia the most striking attractions are walking on the back of an elephant, swimming with dolphins or take a picture with a tiger, however, these activities are harmful to animals. The companies that use them, take them out of their natural habitat and, in most cases, make them work excessively until they get sick.
3. Promote local development: Hire local guides and buy products made by locals, in this way you will be contributing to the economy of the area and positively impacting the community you are visiting. You will also have a unique experience and totally authentic souvenirs.
4. Choose direct flights: airplanes are responsible for huge amounts of carbon emissions. We are not telling you to stop taking them, but if you find out the route well, you will avoid unnecessary flights.
5. Decrease environmental impact: biking or walking around the city are excellent ways to know and at the same time reduce the environmental impact. By avoiding using motorized vehicles, you will be decreasing your carbon footprint.
6. Respect the local culture: knowing different cultures is one of the most common motives among travelers, but just as we enjoy visiting temples, churches or indigenous communities, it is also our duty to respect these places and the customs of the locals. A good tip to not disrespect is to find out in advance the dress codes and respect them.
7. Bargain with a conscience: in places like Southeast Asia it is common to negotiate the price with the seller, but as visitors, we must be aware and considerate with the person in front of us. Those five dollars that you managed to lower, may not mean much to you, but maybe for that person, they make a big difference.
8. Do not give money to beggars: in some countries, children are taken out of schools and forced by their parents to ask tourists for money. If you give money to people on the street, you will be fostering this reality. Sign up for a volunteer, teach at a school or give them food, so you'll be helping a lot more than giving away money.
9. Have respect for nature: when you are in a national park or in a beautiful jungle, remember that you are visiting. Do not disturb the habitat of wild animals by giving them food or making loud noises, and above all, leave things as they are, do not take a starfish or a seashell home.
10. Choose lodgings and agencies that do good to the world: choose hotels and tourist services that are respectful of the environment and local communities. Avoid those agencies that make animal abuse a tourist attraction and choose those that work with the locals.
And you, are you a responsible tourist?
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