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TRAVEL SAVVY | MARCH 2017

Ethical Adventures

A rose is a rose by any other name, so whether you call it responsible travel, ecotourism or green travel it all amounts to the same thing. Ethical travel is the ethos of travelling where you “take only pictures and leave only footprints”. But what does this really mean.

Well, to us it means that when we travel we should do so in such a manner that reduces or minimizes the detrimental effects of the travel industry on a place. Be it social, economic or environmental with the idea being to promote travel that makes a positive impact on local communities, wildlife, and the environment.

We now know that over the years tourism has resulted in many adverse effects for some countries and communities like, destroying natural habitats, exploitation of wildlife, local populations have become displaced to make way for ‘tourist attracations’ or hotels, local businesses being priced out in favour on the tourist ‘dollar’ etc. Ethical tourism is designed to assist with enhancing a regions natural way of being and reducing such negative impact.

With the world as we all know shrinking in size and travel opportunities becoming a little easier to access, now is the time for us all to make whatever difference we can in our own small way so that so many of the places we visit will still be available for our future generations to see, in the same or as close to the same conditions that we saw them in.

So ethical travel is not just about choosing a ‘green hotel’ or not drinking water from a plastic bottle, it is so much more than that and quite simple to achieve. Here are some tips to get you started:


DID YOU KNOW:

The United Nations has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development!

 TIPS

  1. Fly Less, Travel More

We all know that carbon emissions and fossil fuels are bad for the environment, so when you book your ticket to some far off place, make it worth your while. Try staying for a longer period so you can maximise your time there and minimise your flying. Lay overs are a great way to see other places without having to fly back there on another trip for example. 

  1. RESEARCH

Research your destination ahead of time, know what it is you want to do and see. Not only will this enrich your experience as well as contextualise it, it gives you the opportunity to understand the history. Choose only the sights that really appeal to you and work for your location and time etc. Not only does this give you more time to experience local life but it reduces the crush of people on a sight which may not really have been for you in the first place.

  1. BUY LOCAL

Local artisans are the preservers of history. The trinkets or products they make offer a link into a country’s culture and past. Buying directly from them helps keep this alive. Actively seek these local craftsmen out.

  1. HONOR LOCAL TRADITIONS  

Across the world people have different cultures and traditions, respect these so as not to offend the people whose home you are a guest in. For example, in some places in Europe topless bathing is acceptable, not something to gawk at but in other cultures women do not even show their arms. In Turkey for instance a visit to the Blue Mosque is a “must” but women should cover their heads if they wish to do so.

  1. EAT LOCAL 

Try and eat what and where the locals eat. Make responsible food choices by enjoying the food and fruit of the region, which would typically be grown or made there. No imports which means less carbon emissions etc. support local markets, eat organic, reduce red meat all of which promote sustainability.

  1. THE THREE R’s

Take your own refillable water bottle with you. Return maps and brochures when you’re done with them if they’re still in good condition. DO NOT LITTER, use the recycling bins if available. Do not waste, water electricity even soap, use the same bar in your shower and your handbasin until you need another. Basically, reduce/reuse/recycle.

2 thoughts on “TRAVEL SAVVY | MARCH 2017 Leave a comment

  1. Hi,
    It is great that you are supporting the idea of responsible tourism, ecotourism and ethical tourism however I think you need to reconsider your statement that a ‘rose is a rose’ as it does not apply in this case.

    I have been in the tourism industry on and off for over 17 years. Initially I was in fact studying environmental sciences (with a view to conservation) when the tourism industry was introducing the names, values and ethics of first nature based tourism and then eco-tourism into the tourism industry.

    After many years of travel and many different roles I decided that tourism was the perfect forum in which to try and affect people and increase the empathy of the average person with the natural world and thereby work to conserve or at least interact in a more sustainable fashion into the future.

    It is standard practice now for ALL reasonable tour operators to act and operate their business in a sustainable and minimal / leave no footprint environmentally responsible way. Ie. It is standard practice (and good business) to look after the place you are running your tours. In doing so the operators are effectively satisfying the criteria of eco-tourism labeling.

    Up to this point we have been talking about eco-tourism and responsible tourism. It is at this point that ethical adventures differ from both Eco- tourism and responsible tourism adventures. Eco tourism maintains the status quo of the environment but falls short of proactively working to actually IMPROVE or PROTECT the environment.

    It is this slight oversight that ethical tours was created to over come.

    Ethical Adventures includes all of the above mentioned values and standards in addition it also has:
    1. A tourism Fair Trade policy
    2. Commitment to educating guests about the issues facing the region which they are adventuring in
    3. An on going open door policy for information and assistance to topics and related aspects after and before tours.
    4. Associated activities to capacity build in local communities in the area of its operations
    5. Hands on actions designed to improve biodiversity outcomes

    In effect ethical adventures is the bridge between conservation and tourism. At least this is what it is meant to be.

    How can I say with such surety what ethical adventures are supposed to be ?

    Because when I did an online search for ‘ethical adventures’ in 2009 there were NO listings or references to it for the tourism industry.

    I had decided that ‘ethical adventures’ was the name I was going to give to tours based on the principles / elements listed above. I then registered the name in 2011 (and Trade Marked it by the way) and the domain name http://www.ethicaladventures.com and have been running tours based on the principles and motivations listed above in the Northern Territory of Australia since 2014 under the business name ‘ethical adventures’.

    Feel free to check us out and also please do get in touch for a chat anytime to discus the finer and very pertinent points that distinguish ethical adventures, voluntourism, eco tours, nature based tours etc etc …

    Once again though I do applaud you on your desire to promote a better way to travel.

    All the best,

    Rob

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    • Good Morning Rob, thank you so much for your reply. I really appreciate it. Our intention was purely to get people talking and thinking about the way they travel. About respecting the places and people they come across. The thinking behind it was that should the lay person come across any of these words, to not be afraid or uncertain as there are so many things we already do to be “sustainable travelers” and just don’t know it. The idea was to help travelers to up their game, perhaps we should have entitled it Conscious Travel, as this was the ultimate goal. For us all to be conscious and aware when visiting another country or city. I am happy to amend the title if you would like and do apologize if we have offended you in any way. And yes please, the next time we do a similar piece I am definitely going to contact you. I sense your passion in what you do, perhaps you wouldn’t mind sharing more information with our readers. In fact I would love to interview you if you don’t mind. We are by no means experts in the area but like you are passionate about making a difference in whatever small way we can. If you can please can you pop me your email address as I would definitely like to chat further about the finer points of sustainable travel. Best Regards, Aaliyah

      Like

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