People have been traveling to different countries and cities from the time immemorial. Travel used to be something that people did out of need and curiosity a few centuries ago, but we do it now just for leisure. Yes, there are curious travelers, but the number of those people is really less. Most people take up a journey just for fun, and they do more harm to the earth than the good in the process. It is not that everyone is deliberately careless, but they are not aware of things that cause harm to the local environment of the place they visit.
It is high time we know that the way we travel has a huge impact on the environment in the long term. If we cannot negate the impact, we can at least try to minimize it. This is what you need to do about responsible tourism the next time you travel to any place.
Beware of over-tourism
Different countries have been trying to address this issue of over-tourism in the small cities and villages. It means that a few places get overcrowded by the tourists so much so that the overall cost of living increases for the local people. The guests in the city may be able to afford high prices for water, electricity, groceries, food, etc. but the locals living there since decades cannot do so. They cannot pay high rent for homestays that increase their prices for the tourists and reserve the place for travelers only. In that sense, the locals are forced to leave the place when they cannot afford it at all.
In India, for example, Shimla had to request the tourists to stop coming to the city because they were facing severe water crises a few months ago. Similarly, Pune is also gradually becoming overly crowded. People hire expensive Car Rentals in Pune, buy costly clothes, and spend a lot of money at the cafes. The local eateries and shopping centers are losing their importance and hence, the residents are losing their businesses. Moreover, the overcrowded places lose their charm and hence, it is actually better to visit the rarely visited places.
Stay away from animal activities
Everyone talks about staying away from plastic at a tourists place, but no one mentions that one must not involve in any activity that includes animals. Be it domestic, wild, or exotic animals, humans are no one to use them for entertainment or for any other use. Ask yourself whether you would like to carry someone else’s luggage on your back for several kilometers? Of course not, then why would you hire a mule to do that for you?
Can you dance for someone on a hungry stomach?
Of course not.
Then why pay money to a monkey’s owner who makes the animal dance and you can never guarantee whether he feeds the monkey properly or not.
Similarly, activities like swimming with dolphins, kissing the dolphin, horse-carriage ride, selfie with lion are activities that involve drugging or abusing the animals in some way or the other. It is inhumane to promote such activities.
Being a responsible traveler is a hectic thing to do, and it takes a lot of willpower, but isn’t it our duty to do so?