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Responsible Travel Tips

How to be a Responsible Traveler.

Traveling responsibly has become an important component of the tourism industry with visitors becoming more aware of the impact travel has on destinations. Regardless if you are a seasoned traveler or a beginner, it is important to travel responsibly. We have put together six tips on how visitors can leave a lighter footprint on destinations that they visit.  


The World Tourism Organization, an agency created by the United Nations defines sustainable tourism as follows: “Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities.” With this in mind, Tours of Distinction is suggesting some simple concepts that all travelers may elect to do to keep travel sustainable.


1. Remember that you are a guest in someone’s country and act accordingly, and with respect! Never go where you are not wanted, never throw trash on the ground, and try to be sensitive to those destinations that are over-touristed.


2. Buy local when you can especially if you are going off the beaten path. Never buy anything that is made from endangered plants, animals or materials. Buying locally in a variety of places helps spread the wealth.  


3. When you are at your hotel, shut your lights off when you aren’t in the room, turn off the a/c, and don’t leave the water running.  Some hotels encourage guests not to change towels and bed linens every day to help cut down on water and energy use.


4. Cut back on plastic water bottles. Consider carrying a refillable water bottle, there are so many options out there from collapsible bottles to those that keep liquids hot or cold.


5. When you are exploring the great outdoors keep the “leave no trace” guidelines in mind. These seven basic guidelines include things like leaving things of interest the way you found them, respecting wildlife, and to travel on durable surfaces. For more information click here.  


6. Learn about the local culture before you leave home. Once at your destination keep an open mind about culture, traditions, and religious practices. Always remember to respect the local dress codes. Familiarize yourself with the culture to avoid offensive or culturally insulting behavior.


For complete information on the World Tourism Organization’s global code of ethics for tourism and other information click here.