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Responsible Tourism

Tourism is a vital source of income to Ecuador and one that will long outlast the petroleum industry. Support this struggling nation by encouraging local industries. Eat at local restaurants and stay at locally-owned hotels as opposed to foreign-owned businesses or international chains. There is a wide selection of comfortable, clean and reasonably priced hotels all over the country owned and operated by Ecuadorians. V!VA Travel Guides usually mentions if the owners are foreign, so choose wisely.

Use water and electricity carefully. When city officials cut down on the community's supply, travelers are usually given preference, so don't abuse the privilege.

Don't give money or candy to children begging. You are just encouraging this destructive cycle by financing parents willing to send their little ones out onto the streets to work. Many disabled adults and senior citizens also beg; you can decide if you want to help them out or not. Most Ecuadorians do.

ALWAYS ask before taking photographs or videos of people. Just because people look and dress differently doesn't mean you’re in a zoo. Show your respect by talking to people before making them a souvenir of your vacation.

Environmental Awareness
An eco-tourism movement is slowly but surely making its way through Ecuador. The habits of throwing trash out bus windows and littering in general are deeply ingrained in Ecuadorian collective consciousness. Be responsible by not participating in these bad habits and make a point of leaving camping sites, nature walks and picnic areas cleaner than you left them. Ecuadorian cities have started putting up "Do Not Litter" signs, but there is a long way to go. Use recycle bins where available.

Consider staying at an eco-lodge or volunteering for an organization working to educate the community and preserve the environment. See our eco-tourism page, for more information.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Ecuador: Medical, Social and Environmental Issues in Ecuador, Population of Ecuador, Tourism in Mainland Ecuador, Planning your Galapagos Trip, Lava Heron, When to Go, The Galapagos Sea Lion, Zebra Moray Eel and Ecuador Etiquette & Dress.

05 Sep 2012

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