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Traveling in different parts of the world can be fun and generate many positive impacts, such as increased cultural awareness and understanding. Slowly but steadily, more and more destinations are open for visitors again as COVID-19 measures are increasingly being reduced. However, if not done consciously, travelling can also have harmful side effects many travelers are not aware of. How can you make sure that your holiday does not only not negatively impact the destination, but actually makes it a better place? When you visit your next destination, ensure you leave a positive impact by making conscious decisions.
On your next trip, try to be more responsible with how you spend your time there and leave the destination a better place. Here are 5 tips on how to make your next holiday a regenerative experience:
1. Consciously choose your operator.
Instead of opting for packaged deals when planning your trip at home, you can choose tourism operators in the area that offer eco-friendly services and focus on the employment of local residents. By consciously choosing an operator that is transparent about the different steps in their value chain, you contribute to fair wages and fight economic leakage. Especially on island destinations, the money that enters the country via international hotels often leaks out of the destination again, often back to multinationals, without contributing to the local economy.
2. Organize a local cleanup event.
When looking for alternative things to do during your vacation, why not also look into ways to contribute to the wellbeing of the destination? An example could be organizing an environmentally friendly event such as a beach cleanup. Not only will you be able to meet new people and spend time outside on the beach, by organizing a beach cleanup you also contribute to a healthy natural environment for both local residents and tourists to enjoy. You can involve local organizations and work out a fruitful plan that will make the event a success.
While planning your event you can opt to use a banner that will attract more locals to your event. A pop-out banner, which you can for example find at ExpoCart.com, can be convenient as it offers pop-out banners for either indoors or outdoors.
3. Contribute to community development.
Many times when tourists visit developing countries, they feel the urge to support the local residents by offering charity. While this gesture comes from a good place and with the right intentions, it can sometimes unintentionally cause more harm than good. This is unfortunately also the case with some cases of voluntourism.
Instead of focusing on short term monetary aid, it’s better to contribute to the development of the local community. Supporting existing initiatives, driven by local stakeholders, does not only empower communities, it can also lead to valuable new relationships. You can contact institutions or organizations that deal with social welfare programs and find the best way you can contribute. This way, no unnecessary or unwanted donations will be made and you can make sure your time or financial resources will actually make a difference.
4. Support the local economy.
Do you like bringing back home souvenirs from your travels? During your next trip make sure to buy artifacts from local craftsmen and women. Handicrafts might sometimes be more expensive, but in this way you will be contributing to the local economy as well as bringing back home a piece which is one of a kind. Ensure that the souvenirs you buy have been made by the locals themselves and have not been imported from other countries. This shows respect for the cultural heritage of the community you are visiting and supports local businesses.
5. Treat the destination as your own home.
You wouldn’t let the water tap run whilst brushing your teeth at home right? Then why would you do it whilst vacationing and staying in someone else’s home? Treat the accommodation as you would your own home. During your stay, always try to minimize energy and water wastage as much as possible. You can do this by turning off the lights in rooms that are not in use, turning off the heater when it is not necessary to use it in the first place, and not ordering more food than you can finish. Moreover, when showering, try to minimize the water usage and do not leave dripping taps. In some coastal destinations, such as islands, resources can be scarce and the presence of tourists can lead to less drinking water availability to local communities.
Aside from looking for eco-friendly services, try and be eco-friendly yourself by avoiding the use of plastic bags or littering without care for the environment. By being environmentally conscious, you tend to leave a good environment for the locals to live in, and remember, environmental pollution does not affect only one community but the whole world so your irresponsible stay in a tourist destination will one day come to haunt you right at your home place.
While visiting cultural heritage sites, always be careful around the artifacts and monuments as they tend to be fragile and can easily get destroyed even with the simplest of touches. Respect the signs that have been placed in these areas because they have been kept there for a reason. If you would like to get more information on this then you can visit World Heritage Watch.
Make your next holiday a positive one by not only pursuing valuable experiences, but also by contributing to the state of the destination’s environment and local community. Keep in mind that your holiday destination is someone else’s home. Even though you might not be able to notice the long term impacts of your stay, simply because you are not in the area long enough, local residents will. On top of that, no one likes leaving a bad first impression, right?
Sea Going Green is a sustainable tourism consultancy who works with clients to create and enhance authentic and unforgettable tourism experiences for guests that are culturally and environmentally sustainably-minded.
How can you make sure that your holiday does not only not negatively impact
the destination, but actually makes it a better place? When you visit your
next destination, ensure you leave a positive impact by making conscious
Here are 5 tips on how to make your next holiday a regenerative experience.Read MoreSustainable LivingBlog – Sea Going Green