The typical complaint about tourism is that it’s like a bad one-sided relationship. Local communities accommodate tourists, but what do the tourists give in return? Locals usually breathe a sigh of relief when tourist season is over and life goes back to normal.
Responsible travelers see tourism as a chance to tilt the balance back towards mutual giving and receiving. They want to gain new experience and make a positive impact locally. They also avoid leaving a mess for someone else to clean up by reducing travel waste. Ethical tourists try to leave a place better off than it was before they came.
Seeing pieces of plastic fill up the world’s beautiful beaches and marine environments can be a drag. With CetoSea’s impact tours in the Caribbean you can help solve ocean plastic and improve marine ecosystems on vacation. Not only do these tours make cleaning up a beach safe and fun, they also help you dive deeper into the science behind ocean health. Your own samples collected from the beach can contribute to the science of preserving the ocean. Locals also appreciate the visible improvement these tours make for their beaches.
Traveling alone as a woman can sometimes be daunting. With Unearth Women’s Feminist City Guides you can find a sisterhood wherever you go. These guides also spotlight local women-led businesses that help reduce the gender gap for wages and employment in the local areas you travel.
The Himalaya region is suffering badly fromclimate change. Meanwhile, its communities lack access to electricity. Now, you can offset carbon while improving Himalayan locals’ lives. Global Himalayan Expedition’s impact tours combine a breathtaking Himalayan expedition with a mission to install solar energy in remote communities. So far, impact tourists have installed solar panels in 94 Himalayan communities.
Dorobo Safaris is a pioneer of ecotourism in Tanzania. Since the nineties, its educational safaris have connected tourists with local guides who share traditional knowledge on low impact walking tours in the Serengeti, Tarangire and Ruaha National Parks. Dorobo Safaris has worked integrally with the local Maasai hunter gatherer community to establish the Dorobo Fund. Its mission is to preserve the local cultures, people, landscape and biodiversity of Tanzania.
With the support of Ecuador’s Ministry of Happiness and Wellbeing, TrenEcuador provides a unique twist on the concept of fair trade with its fair train tours. It’s a luxury train that whisks travelers to rural communities and rainforest hiking trails, and it operates according to fair trade principles. In total, it positively impacts the lives of 5,000 rural Ecuadorians living in mountain villages.
Slow travel basically means extending your stay and immersing yourself in one local community. It can also include longer meals, slower forms of transportation and a lighter schedule. Turkey is a wonderful place to experience slow travel because of its long, rich history. Find travel tips using this Slow Travel Guide to Turkey.
CGH Earth Experience Hotels provide a responsible tourism experience that provides healing and relaxation with its Aryuvedic treatment options. This ancient healing philosophy combines knowledge of body, mind and spirit as well as the natural surroundings. CGH Earth protects its local communities and ecosystems with low impact hospitality at exquisite destinations in India.
Wwoof is a network of organic farms throughout the world that accept visitors who wish to get their hands dirty and work on a farm in exchange for lodging. This affordable and eco-friendly form of travel will help you learn about sustainable food and agriculture while helping locals with their harvests.
For a list of places that make a conscious effort to keep tourism locally beneficial, check out this ethical destinations list, compiled by Ethical Traveler. And if you’re concerned about your carbon impact from flying read our post on how tooffset your air travel. Happy travels!
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