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5 Simple Steps To Support Ethical Tourism

5 Simple Steps To Support Ethical Tourism

Woman Standing In Front of Tomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah, Agra, India

Tourism is a major contributor to the global economy, but it also has the potential to have negative impacts on the environment, local communities, and cultural heritage. This is where ethical tourism comes in – a responsible way of traveling that aims to minimise harm and maximise benefits to both the travellers and the destinations they visit. Ethical tourism is becoming increasingly important as more and more people are aware of the impact of their actions and want to make a positive difference in the world.

1. Get Educated. Watch The Last Tourist

The Last Tourist Film Poster

Travel is at a tipping point. Through their actions and travel decisions, tourists are unintentionally impacting the environment, wildlife and the livelihood of local communities – and in not a positive way. Filmed in over 16 countries and guided by the world’s leading tourism and conservation visionaries, the Last Tourist reveals the real conditions and consequences of one of the largest industries worldwide. This award-winning documentary magnifies how we’re loving our favourite destinations literally to death and how we can change our ways by educating ourselves on a local destination, rather than getting sucked into the “tourism vortex.”

2. Avoid “All Inclusive” Packages

Cruise Ship in a Caribbean Port

Many all-inclusives packages mean you never have to leave your resort for food or drinks, and that’s a huge problem. Taking income away from the community you’re visiting and instead funneling that money back to the multinational hotel chain you are staying with affects the local community more than you think. All inclusive resorts are often located far away from the country’s metropolitan area, making it harder to venture out and explore its culture and cuisine.

3. Re-Think Volunteer Trips

Re-Think Volunteer Trips

If you are looking to volunteer your time to teach English to kids in Cambodia, make sure you do your research. Volunteer tourism is now its own industry. In fact, in Cambodia, there has been a 75% increase in orphanages and 80% of children living in these orphanages have at least one living parent. Devastating statistics from Kenyan orphanages indicate that 1 in 3 of these orphans end up homeless, and 1 in 10 take their own life.

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Record store in Tokyo, Japan

4. Book A Trip For The Destination, Not The Photo

Crowds in front of the Mona Lisa in Paris

Did you know that 29% of millennial travellers said they wouldn’t travel to a destination if they couldn’t post about it on Instagram? This has led to an influx of photo-tourism and while honeypot destinations are wonderful, make sure to look beyond and take the road less travelled to play your role in reducing over-tourism. 

5. Wherever Possible, Support Women-Led Local Businesses

The Ccaccaccollo Women’s Weaving Co-op in Peru
The Ccaccaccollo Women’s Weaving Co-op in Peru

By choosing to support women-led local businesses, you empower resource-poor women to become financially independent and keep tourism dollars in the destination you are visiting. When women gain financial freedom in undeveloped countries, they can lead livelihoods with dignity and gain a better understanding of their rights and access to education.

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