We declare war on irresponsible tourism
|Sign on the way to Machu Picchu prohibiting dumping garbage.
We know: it is a radical headline. But, after our last trips, readings and hours of reflection, we cannot ignore the problem: people who make irresponsible tourism are harming the environment, culture, animals, and people! In the World Week of Climate Action, we denounce 5 irresponsible travel actions that we have observed lately and that we must change, now!
|Do not skip the established paths. Respect the rules.
1 Breaking the rules, because I'm worth it!
A guide on a safari who gets too close to the animals. A group of friends leaving their cans on the beach. A person who gives alms to boys and girls. A couple who decide to skip the marked trekking to get into protected areas. We can't keep doing it since the damage we cause can be very great!
The solution? Try to understand what the rules are for and what would happen if everyone broke them. If it is not clear to you, ask, read, but do not act prematurely.
|Garbage at the foot of the temples of Angkor, Cambodia.
2 Visiting a country “like crazy”
In Tumaini We always say that the journey begins long before taking the plane. We recommend preparing it over low heat and with care. Read about the history, culture, economy, ways of life of the country you are going to visit. This way you will know, for example, that in Kenya it is offensive to wear very short pants. That in India you should never eat with your left hand. That Peru is the Latin American country where the most minors work. This way you will avoid many misunderstandings, prejudices and offenses.
The solution? It is enough to have a little curiosity and desire to learn. Read, ask, watch movies or documentaries, talk to other people who already know the country where you are going to travel. Find out!
|The thali is the typical dish of India, do not stay without trying it.
3 Travel, but “be at home”
We have seen it a lot. There are people who travel to countries of the South but want the same comforts, the same activities and the same food as at home. They prefer to go to eat at a “fast food” than try the local cuisine. Take the coffee in the shift chain instead of trying other flavors. And, of course, they don't even think of getting close to the local culture. Why not go see traditional dances, concerts by local groups or an exhibition of native art or crafts? Instead, they end up in a tourist bar with live bands covering Western songs.
The solution? Dare to get out of your "comfort zone"! Open up to new experiences, explore how people live in the country you are visiting. Appreciate how lucky you are to be able to visit other places and live different experiences that will surely only happen once in a lifetime!
|Group of volunteers after a beach cleanup in Indonesia.
4 From chain to chain
If you stay in a hotel that belongs to a multinational, if you only eat in large chains or hire excursions from international agencies, all the economic benefit generated by your trip will go abroad of the country you visit. Try to support local hotels, restaurants, shops and guides so that your stay has a positive impact!
The solution? It is enough to become aware, have a little patience and investigate. A small effort for a huge change.
|Piles of garbage in the port of Sihanouk Ville in Cambodia.
5 environmental mistakes
Although there is increasing awareness, there are still people who leave waste on beaches or natural spaces. And not only that. Taking care of the environment also means: do not stay in protected areas or on the beachfront, do not waste water, do not leave waste such as batteries if you do not know what collection system exists, do not dive or walk in areas where it is prohibited, etc. Also, important! Do not feed animals that will later become dependent, or collaborate with exhibitions, rides on elephant backs or other forms of exploitation.
The solution? Stop for a moment before taking any action. And, if you don't know if an action is polluting or harmful to animals, ask!
|Using owls or another animal as a tourist attraction is unethical.
And you, do you also declare war on irresponsible tourism? Do you have other ideas to combat it? We are all ears!