Who doesn’t love to travel? The exotic locales, the food, the new cultures, new languages, taking in the wonderful smells that are different in every single country around the world… The thrill of travelling is a special feeling, but do we travel responsibly? Travelling is one thing, but doing it in a responsible manner is extremely important.
With travel being restricted across the globe in 2020, responsible travel took on a new definition, thanks to the popularity of virtual travel. By travelling virtually, people can access destinations around the world and explore to their heart’s content, from the comfort of their home. Looking at how the world healed itself while people were stuck inside, was nothing short of a miracle and that is where responsible travel comes in.
Travel has always been an important part of our bucket lists and vision boards, but we hardly ever consider what repercussions our dream trip would have on this planet. Responsible travel means travelling in a sustainable way that benefits the country you are visiting. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) defines sustainable tourism as, ‘Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities’.
Opportunities for sustainable tourism aren’t just a great way for tourists to travel, but also offer local people the chance to get involved in the tourism sector in a way that will benefit them, now and in the future. Supporting local tourism boards that work hard on preserving the natural beauty of a place, rather than allowing overdevelopment to ruin what was once the original appeal.
We’ve all been to those over-touristy spots. The kind of spots where maybe 5 or 10 years ago it was a pristine paradise, but then an influx of people and foreign investment turned it into yet another destination crammed with huge resorts and littered beaches. By adopting a style of tourism that minimizes the negative impact on environment, economy or culture, any traveller can contribute to responsible tourism.
To that effect, here are a few tips that will help you travel responsibly. Take a look!
Start at Home
Responsible travel starts way before you leave home for your vacation and is just an extension of responsible living. If you are conscious of your usage and wastage at home, you are bound to be conscious of these things when you travel. So, to travel responsibly, start living responsibly as a first step – don’t waste water and don’t waste electricity.
Say ‘No’ to Plastic
We all know that plastic is bad for environment, but we often give little thought to how we manage it. Don’t you find it disturbing when you find food wrappers and coke bottles littered around you? If you visit beautiful villages or hike in lush green forests or trek in snowy mountains, be extremely conscious of what you do with waste. Carry a metal water bottle with you and refill wherever and whenever you can. This will help you avoid purchasing plastic water bottles water every now and then while travelling. You can also carry your own bamboo or metal straws. Avoid buying and consuming packaged food; not only is it harmful to your body, but it also creates a lot of waste.
Be Sensitive to Destinations Combatting Over-Tourism
It’s basic manners but it bears repeating: Don’t go where you aren’t wanted. Many destinations that are currently battling over-tourism are currently holding protests and campaigns meant to keep tourists out. What you can do is, in the beginning stages of planning a trip, research if your destination has a plan for dealing with growing tourism.
By this, we don’t mean clothes. Owing to the present pandemic conditions, it is important to wear a mask at all times, wherever you go. Also keep a face shield, sanitizer, a disinfectant spray and gloves handy at all times and wash your hands whenever and wherever possible. It is vital that we protect ourselves and others around us from any infection. While you may feel safe, it isn’t always a vice versa situation.
When travelling, a lot of people find it tempting to seek out shops or restaurants that remind them of home. While there’s nothing wrong with this, remind yourself that you didn’t decide to travel so that you could feel like you were right back at home. Travel is about new places and experiences. So, get out there and do just that! Support local souvenir shops, eat where local people go and consider trying a new local dish every day. This is not just a great way to add to the economy of the area you’re in, but it’s also one of the best ways to learn about the culture, traditions and the language of the country you’re visiting.
Travelling virtually is one of the best things you can do for the preservation and sustenance of the world. You will not just be able to enjoy going places from the comfort of your home, but you will also be doing your bit for the planet by reducing your carbon footprint.
In order to make virtual travel more accessible to people, smartphone apps like Proxgy have jumped on the bandwagon. The Proxgy app offers immersive travel experiences to its users by using the 360-degree camera technology. All you need to do is log on to the Proxgy user app, click on Proxgy for Travel and you’re good to go!
With Proxgy, you can get the opportunity to be everywhere! So, what are you waiting for? Book your Proxgy now!