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The Responsible Tourist and Traveller

Dear Traveller,
“The responsible tourist andtraveller” is a brief, practical guide aimed at helping make your trip an enriching experience. The tips we present below are based on theWorld Tourism Organization’s “Global Code of Ethics for Tourism”.

Travel and tourism should be planned and practised as a means of personal and collective fulfilment. When carried out with an open mind, it is an irreplaceable factor ofself-education, mutual tolerance and for learning about the legitimate differences between peoples and cultures and their diversity.

We all have a role to play in making responsible travel and tourism the norm. Governments, businesses and communities should undoubtedly endeavour to do so, but you also, as a visitor, can significantly support this goal in many ways:

  1. Open up to cultures and traditions different to your own: your experience will be transformed, you will gain the respect of local people and they will welcome you more easily. Be tolerant and respect diversity; observe the traditions and social and cultural practices of the place.
  2. Respect human rights. Any form of exploitation violates the fundamental goals of tourism.The sexual exploitation of children is a punishable offense, both in the place where it is carried out and in the country of residence of perpetrators of these acts.
  3. Help preserve the natural environment. Protect plants and wildlife and their habitats. Do not buy products made from endangered plants or animals.
  4. Respect cultural resources. Tourism activities should be conducted with respect for artistic, archaeological and cultural heritage.
  5. Your trip can contribute to economic and social development. Buy local crafts and products to support the local economy, and stick to the principles of fair trade.When you bargain, keep the concept of fair wages in mind.
  6. Before you leave, find out about the actual health status of your destination and about access to consular and emergency services there. Ensure that your health and personal safety will not be compromised. Make sure your specific needs (food, accessibility or medical care) are covered there before deciding to travel to a certain destination.
  7. Gather as much information as possible about your destination and take time to understand its customs, norms and traditions. Avoid behaviour that might offend the local population.
  8. Know the laws in force in the country you are to visit so as not to commit any act that is considered criminal there. Refrain from trafficking in drugs, arms, antiques, protected species, dangerous products or substances or those prohibited by national regulations.