Decalogue to practice responsable tourism
Summer is coming and beaches are crowded, rural tourism expect maximum occupancy… holidays leave a considerable environmental footprint in the environment and travellers should be aware of caring for our environment. Therefore, we have established what the Decalogue for a responsible tourist should be:
Start with yourself: To be a responsible tourist means having your trip well organized, planned well in advance and with everything you need to avoid, more than ever, ‘impacts’ on expectations or your pocket. If you book your transport and accommodation well in advance, you could obtain more advantageous prices.
- To choose the right transport: The responsible tourist planned the means of transport to travel to their destination as well as the one they will use to get around during their stay. They choose efficient driving in order to save energy or at reduced or zero emissions (electric). They try to use public transport and whenever is feasible to move by bike or walking.
- To stay in sustainable accommodations: These establishments are environmentally responsible according to their location, the type of building materials and the use of energy. Staying in a rural hotel that works with solar energy, booking a place, which reduces, water consumption or lodging in a bioclimatic cottage (insulating walls with natural or recycled materials) are ways to contribute to responsible tourism.
- To use electronic devices: This is a way to reduce paper consumption and avoid generating more waste. We must try to always have reservations, tickets, insurance documents, maps, guides or invoices in digital format on smartphone or tablet.
- Do not waste energy: When a tourist stays at a hotel or rent an apartment does not worry about the water or electricity consumption with the excuse that everything is included. Who has not ever left the card in the room and the air conditioning has been running for hours? This situation does not help the energy savings or the business accounts, but it harms the territory of the country you are traveling’s and the planet in general.
- To respect the nature of the area: Try not to degrade the ecosystem of the area you are visiting, natural areas, animals and vegetation. We must also avoid buying products made from materials obtained by methods such as poaching. When you eat, you must consider the seafood or game animals closed season, as some local people do not respect them.
- To Contribute to the local economy: We must consume local products and use services of the area in order to stimulate its economy, i.e. involving other people and companies within the territory. For example, eating in restaurants that offer typical meals made with local products, look for craft souvenirs, enjoying the traditional festivities or staying in places managed by the local community.
- To be considered with local population: Traveling involves to relate with local people of the place you visit, and for this reason, you need to know, understand and try to adapt yourself to their character, habits, rules and customs.
- To minimize waste generation: It is true that when we are traveling, there are items considered a burden that we can do without and therefore; the ‘use and throw culture’ is applied. In order to avoid creating more rubbish, as in our day to day, it would be good to use bags or reusable bottles avoiding plastic dishes and cutlery. Moreover, it is beneficial to look at the recycle system in the city or in the lodging so that each waste is in the correspondent container.
9. Spread the information: It is very positive when you are back from your holidays to reflect on what have you known and learned as well as your achievements as a responsible tourist.
In this sense, it is advisable to spread the information among family and friends and share with them practices and benefits of responsible tourism.