When an area starts being visited by tourists, there are bound to be some social and cultural impacts of those tourists on the host community. Look at the above picture .You know what does it depict? It shows the crowds that swarmed the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, in northwestern Guanacaste, and disrupted the nesting ritual for a number of olive ridley sea turtles, which are listed as a vulnerable or threatened species.
As they gathered in the hundreds, the visitors stood in the turtles’ way as they swam ashore and even placed children on top of them to snap keepsake photos, causing many of the creatures to return to the sea without laying their eggs.
IS THIS AN ACT OF RESPONSIBLE TOURISM??
With travelling becoming a contagious epidemic,responsible Tourism is gaining ground as a newly emerging and growing global trend worldwide. It offers opportunities to develop products that can contribute to national socio-economic objectives by providing livelihoods for local economies and contributing value to the maintenance of local heritage, culture and traditions. Responsible Tourism also generates revenues for environmental conservation and management.
Remember – The responsibility is two sided.
Responsible tourism is a tourism management strategy in which the tourism sector and tourists take responsibility to protect and conserve the natural environment, respect and conserve local cultures and ways of life, and contribute to stronger local economies and a better quality of life for local people. (Responsible Tourism Requirements – SANS 1162:2011)
1) The first rule : Do not disturb the wildlife, It’s there home you are entering.
There is no doubt that the mere presence of humans can disturb wildlife and have negative consequences for conservation. A good example would be walking through a seabird colony, causing many of the adults to leave the nest and cease incubation or temporarily abandon their chicks, which could increase their chances of being taken by predators.
No tourism is perfect from an ecological point of view. However, responsible wildlife tour operators and tourists should do their best to follow all of the rules regarding wildlife protection and to choose in-country partners (who provide transportation, accommodation, and other amenities) that operate as sustainably as possible and do not have major deleterious consequences to wildlife or their habitats.Do not smoke-It may catch forest fire, Do not shout,It may disturb nesting animals and Yes don’t take selfie unless it is:
2) The world is NOT your dustbin
We as a responsible tourists should start with a fundamental rule- Put the waste in the bin, have the patience to find one and trash your empty bottles, lays packets in the bin.
Photo courtesy: IndiaMutinies.com
3) The craving to be ethched in pages of history
Oops……some people get it wrong, totally wrong. Its not scribbled in historical sites. Do something worthwile to have a name and meanwhile don’t spoil the beautiful architecture.
Shown below is a love story scribbled on charminar.
Photo courtesy: GossipMonk
4) Go Local and promote the indigenous economy
Responsible tourism is also about enabling local communities to enjoy a better quality of life, through increased socio-economic benefits and an improved environment. It is also about providing better holiday experiences for guests and good business opportunities for tourism enterprises.
Photo courtesy: indiatvnews.com
It offers opportunities to develop products that can contribute to national socio-economic objectives by providing livelihoods for local economies and contributing value to the maintenance of local heritage, culture and traditions. Responsible Tourism also generates revenues for environmental conservation and management.
So next time, stay at a local’s home stay, believe me its a moment worth cherishing and makes you a responsible one too.
5) Go Green
Ecotourism is what is the need of the hour, Contribute your part in reducing the carbon footprints of an area.
Dump your vehicles and take a cycle to stroll around.Its not only good for your waistline but gives you peace and time to enjoy the surroundings.
Don’t honk, Have mercy on the natural fauna around.
Don’t damage trees or natural plants.
6) Athithi devo bhav
An initiative of the Ministry of Tourism to harness the potential of the tourism industry in India. It aims to create awareness about the effects of tourism and sensitise people about our country’s rich heritage and culture, cleanliness and warm hospitality. It intends to instill a sense of responsibility towards tourists among the stakeholders of the tourism industry.
The main components of the campaign are training and orientation of taxi drivers, guides, immigration officers, tourist police and other personnel directly interacting with the tourists, while simultaneously creating brand equity for the trained persons. This concept was designed to complement the “Incredible India” campaign.
Change the way you travel……….Be a responsible tourist.