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Responsible Tourism in Colombia

Tourism in Colombia is experiencing rapid growth that is hoped will bring considerable benefits to the country. Unfortunately, some aspects of tourism can have negative social, environmental and even economic consequences. Responsible tourism benefits both the traveler and the local community alike. The traveler gets an insight into local cultures while the local community gains from low-impact, sustainable income. Responsible actions are crucial to the future of the industry and we all play an essential part.

 

Problems associated with illicit drugs in Colombia are well documented. Aside from being aware of the direct and indirect dangers associated with the drug industry, it is vital to act responsibly to avoid serious punishment.

 

Do:

         Research your location prior to traveling and upon arrival visit the local information center or tourist office to discover any potential hidden delights. Try and learn at least the basics of Spanish as this will not only make things easier and more enjoyable but can also leave a positive impression with locals.

         Inquire about the environmental records of tour operators and, when appropriate, give preferential treatment to local guides, restaurants and accommodation over multinational firms that have a poor ecological reputation.

         Buy crafts from family workshops and community cooperatives. This will enhance your experience and often ensures that your money goes directly to local people.

         Respect cultural and religious traditions. Colombia is a Catholic country and always act with consideration when in the vicinity of religious establishments. When visiting indigenous communities, respect their traditions.

         Be courteous and considerate when taking photos of people and always ask for their permission beforehand. Be aware that in many indigenous communities, taking photos of people is prohibited.

         Practice safe sex. The consequences of not doing so can be severe for both parties.

 

Do Not:

         Abuse privileges such as water and electricity, especially in smaller communities where resources are scarce. Some more expensive hotels provide the option of having your linen and towels washed daily. This is an unnecessary luxury that uses considerable energy and water.

         Drop litter. Although rubbish dropping may be a more common problem in Colombia than where you are from, it is not OK to join this trend. Provide a good example; pack a plastic bag for trash and recycle when possible.

         Interfere in local ecology. However beautiful a flower may be, do not pick any and avoid interfering in wildlife habitats. Small actions can have devastating, long-term impacts on local environments.

 

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Colombia: Safety, When to Go, When to Go to Eastern Colombia, Shopping in Colombia, Safety, When to Go to Leticia, When to Go to Güicán, When to Go to Villa de LEyva, When to Go to Santa Marta and San Agustín: When to Go.








27 Sep 2011



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