Responsible Travel: It is Easier Than You Think!
Responsible Travel: It’s Easier Than You Think!
Who wouldn’t want to visit the “Land of Smiles” and enjoy its pristine beaches, lush green nature, beautiful temples and delicious food? Thailand is an extremely popular travel destination. You just have to log in to social media and you see pictures of your friends and family posing on the beach, sipping a cocktail and riding elephants.
Whilst travelling Thailand can be a rewarding and exciting adventure, it is important to know that there are real impacts of your vacation. Where does that plastic straw end up? Is riding an elephant ethical? Do the locals get their fair share?
In recent years travellers have become more conscious about their impact on the local people, culture and environment. Many have even adopted the principles of responsible tourism. However, some are left asking themselves, what is responsible tourism and how can I get involved?
Photo credit: http://positiveimpactjourney.com/responsible-travel/
The definition provided by our partners Thai Responsible Tourism Association (TRTA) states that Thai responsible tourism “is tourism which does not have negative impacts to Thai social, culture, economy, and environment. It should have an advantage to the Thai Tourism Industry which includes development and building awareness together.”
Responsible tourism is therefore about travelling mindfully. It actively recognises that tourism can have positive and negative impacts. It asks tourists to be aware of this and try to make their own impact on the environment and local communities positive. This form of travel is seen as beneficial for both the tourist and the places they travel too. This is because the communities are receiving the “good bits” of tourism whilst the traveller experiences a more culturally immersive and insightful adventure.
Being a responsible traveller is not as time consuming and difficult as many think. There are a few simple changes that all travellers can make to ensure that their experiences a more mindful, immersive and respectful. For you next adventure:
- Do prior research on the culture and customs
- Buy local products to support communities
- Utilise pubic transport and reduce your carbon footprint
- Strike up a conversation with the locals
- Try out a home stay
- Use alternatives to single use plastic
Responsible travel is not a difficult approach to adopt but it is very rewarding for you and also beneficial to the places you visit.