Have you ever asked yourself a questions what can you do while you are travelling? And how your travel behaviour can be favoured in the area of responsible tourism? Do you want to protect and preserve the genuine places in Cyprus for the future generations? Read on to know how to contribute to a plastic-free-world or pollution-free-world or litter-free world.
We are bringing 7 simple steps for you to make a real and positive impact on the places you visit and how to benefit from being a responsible traveller.
1) Before your trip begins
For the truly responsible traveller, your support starts at home. As you are doing Internet research anyway, make sure you choose tour operators or service providers who are supporting sustainable tourism, local projects in destinations or other forms of charities which aim at helping local economy, education, communities, people, animals or nature. Search also for local providers on site and choose them.
Do some research and find out about the destination, its nature, local people’s culture, politics, do’s and don’ts especially for culturally and religiously sensitive issues such as dress codes, behaviour, habits, religious rituals, gestures, food, etc. Get yourself up to speed online about local sustainable and responsible tourism projects/attractions on site.
Take the step of learning some of the local language as this will quickly break down cultural barriers by showing your interest and effort. It is not only fun, but you will also be taken into deeper conversations including tips and local insights and you will gain respect from locals.
Watch what you pack! Minimize your waste through responsible packing. Try to buy products which are not wrapped in disposable plastic or remove needless packaging at home. Also, pack a strong bag which you will re-use every time you go grocery shopping in the destination to keep your use of plastic bags to a minimum.
2) Respect local traditions and people
It is your trip or holiday but it is a home of people in places you are visiting. Try also to use a few words of the local language. Respect the nature, the destination, its people and their different religion, culture or way of thinking and show your interest. If you respect locals they respect you.
3) Buy locally made products and use local services
Eat at local bars and cafes, stay in locally run hotels or appartments. Ask about excursions using local guides and drivers, they have insider knowledge. Putting money into the local economy helps local people and give your trip or holiday an extra dimension.
4) Reduce the use of natural resources and energy, take care about the environment
Take a quick shower instead of a batch, re-use towels, switch off lights and A/C when you go out, use the local bus service, hire a bike or walk. Recycle wherever possible and leave the places you visit even better than when you found it. Use a stainless steel water bottle and refill it.
5) Interact with locals
Activate the mutual interest while having a conversation with locals, find out lots of insider tips and information, make a true friendship since your new friends may even show you around, invite you to their homes to meet their family to show you local customs; appreciate small things, humanity and be more thankful for what you have. You will brighten your horizon through learning new things and looking at life from a new and different perspective!
6) Reduce that carbon footprint
Book direct flights, car pool, take public transport or better yet, travel by coach. If you rent a car, rent a small one.
7) Bring your experiences home
Continue practicing your responsible habits at home and encourage friends and family to travel with the same care.
Sustainable (responsible) tourism is about making a positive difference to the people and environment of destinations you are travelling to. Respect the local cultures and the natural environment, buy locally and take responsibility of your actions while enjoying yourself.
Travel is a privilege, and with that privilege comes a certain level of responsibility. We want to protect the places we visit and the memories we treasure for decades and centuries to come so our kids and grandkids can experience the world the way we do right now.
Cyprus Excursion supports, develops and promotes sustainable tourism in Cyprus.
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