In an effort to increase public awareness and action relating to sustainable tourism, Responsible Travel have announced 22 New Year resolutions which they hope the travelling public will take on board.
The resolutions are as follows:
Before you book a holiday:
1.Make some changes at home that will save your emissions on your holiday.
2.Take fewer flights per year .
3. Minimise flying time and stopovers.
4. Ask to see the tour operator's policy for responsible tourism.
5. Ask your hotel/accommodation 10 simple questions to see if they really are eco!
- Have they have a written policy regarding the environment and local people?
- Ask them to describe the single contribution to conservation or local people that they are most proud of.
- Ask them how they measure their contribution to conservation and local communities.
- Ask the lodge owner how many local people they employ, what % this is of the total, and whether any are in management positions.
- Ask them what they have specifically done to help protect the environment and support conservation, and which local charities they work with.
- Ask them what % of produce and services are sourced from within 25km of the lodge.
- Ask them how they treat waste water and how they heat their building
- Ask them what information and advice is provided to tourists on local cultures and customs.
- Ask them if they employ guides from the local community (local guides not only provide unmatched insights into local cultures, but are also aware of areas/behaviour that might cause offence among local people.
- Ask them for ideas on how you might get involved with local people and conservation in a worthwhile and rewarding way for you and the destination.
Before you travel
6. Read up on local cultures and learn a few words of the local language.
7. Remove all excess packaging from items in your luggage.
8. Ask your tour operator for specific tips for responsible travel in your destination.
9. Ask your tour operator/hotel if there are useful gifts that you could pack for your hosts, local people or schools.
10. Ask your tour operator whether there are local conservation or social projects that you could visit on your trip, and if/how you could help support them.
11. Switch off your central heating, fridges and all electrical appliances.
While you are on holiday:
12. Buy local produce in preference to imported goods.
13. Hire a local guide.
14. Do not buy products made from endangered species, hard woods or ancient artefacts.
15. Respect local cultures, traditions and holy places - if in doubt ask advice or don't visit.
16. Use public transport, hire a bike or walk when convenient.
17. Use water sparingly.
18. Cultivate the habit of asking questions.
19. Check that your operator or hotel is living up to their promise for responsible tourism.
When you get back:
20. Write to your tour operator or hotel with any comments or feedback about your holiday, and especiallynclude any suggestions on reducing environmental impacts and increasing benefits to local communities
21. If you've promised to send pictures or gifts to local people remember to do so, many are promised and not all arrive!
22. Enjoy the memories, reflect on your experience and start planning your next trip.