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Responsible Tourism

Responsible tourism involves a little more than making sure you don’t throw your garbage out of the bus windows, as the local norm goes. True, you must take responsibility for your day to day actions when visiting a foreign place but you should also think about the wider implications of your travel choices. You can use your buying-power as a customer to influence business practices as well as fellow travelers and locals alike. Deciding to go with a tour agency that has built into its working practices environmental sustainability is important, as is choosing to spend your tourist dollars in locally-owned artisan shop rather than a foreign-owned chain.

Responsible tourism should, in short, be about minimizing negative economic, environmental and social effects, as well as contributing positively to the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage, providing more meaningful connections for locals and tourists, encouraging a greater understanding other cultures while building opportunities for locals to make decisions about their own working conditions, environment and society in general.

Responsible and sustainable tourism is a growing trend, and there are many tools out there to help direct your travel behavior in the right direction. The website organizes a world responsible tourism day every year sponsored by BBC World News and supported by the UNWTO. The site can help you pick out feel-good vacations. Idealist lists many volunteer opportunities with social and environmental projects. Meanwhile, Arcas Guatemala is a Guatemala-based organization which promotes awareness about the country’s disappearing natural world and wildlife.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Guatemala: Eco-lodges In Guatemala, Things To See And Do, When To Go, When To Go, The Verapaces Tours, When to go, Tips For Mid-range Hotels, The Verapaces Activities, When To Go and The Verapaces Accommodation.

By Joanne Sykes

Born and raised in Yorkshire, England, Jo is currently working as a freelance travel writer in Latin America. With degrees in...

11 May 2010

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