Over the last couple of years, there has been an urge to travel among young and old alike making tourism an industry that is booming world over. September 27 marks World Tourism Day, an annual event organized by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The United Nations General Assembly has said that this year the focus will be on International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. But to make that a reality one has to be a responsible tourist. We give you five basic things you have to keep in mind when you travel.
Respect local culture
You may be traveling to places that you know about. Or to places away from Kerala. Know that each land has a different culture. And it is your duty as a traveler to respect the local culture. If you do not know something, ask. A smile is a good conversation opener with strangers.
You may be planning a trek or an adventure with friends. And it may take you near a forest. Remember, the forest belongs to the animals. Do not litter, throw bottles that may break on the paths that animals follow. You can go to a hospital if you get a glass shard stuck to your foot, the animals can't. Frequent traveler Lavanya Singhal lists out the dos and don'ts while traveling to a forest.
Minimize your waste
Do not litter holds good not just in the forests zones. Anywhere you go try not to litter, use the bins that are kept for the purpose. If you cannot find a bin, carry the litter to the nearby place where there are bins. Remember, it is these food waste that helps the stray dog population to increase too.
Lower your footprint
Use public transport as much as you can. Or go in groups. Reduce the carbon footprint. A group of motorbikes revving their engines may sound music to your ears. But give the animals a consideration.
Educate other travelers
Being responsible does not end with you. Each of you is a flag-bearer. Spread the word to people around you. And there is no harm in cleaning up the litter left by others. By doing that, you are leaving behind something for the future generations.