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Responsible Travel in Asia

Nov 29, 2007
Responsible travel is a new way of travelling moving away from the mass tourism. Responsible travel means respecting and benefiting the local people and environment at your destination. It is about minimising your impact on the local culture and environment and maximising your connection with the local people and environment. It is about making a positive contribution during your trip and having the most rewarding and inspiring travel experiences of your life.

Responsible tourism can be defined as travel that takes into consideration the the following issues.

Environment: Responsible travel is travel that minimises the negative environmental impact and makes a positive contribution to the conservation of the natural and human heritage.

Cultural: Responsible travel is travel that respects the local culture and traditions and promotes a greater understanding between travellers and the locals.

Economic: Responsible travel is travel that has financial benefits for the local community and operates on the principles of fair trade.

This kind of travel is very popular in Asia. There are a lot of opportunities to join an eco tour and engage yourself in eco tourism in Asia. China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam are just some of the wonderful destinations on offer in Asia.

Travelling around Asia has become very easy and cheap with many low cost airlines connecting you between many destinations around Asia. Also Asia is a very cheap travel destination so you will get a lot more for your money.

Responsible tourism starts before you even set off on your travels. Research your destination before you leave. Find out about the culture or religions and make sure you respect the local sensibilities. You will find that the local people will very much respect the fact that you make the effort to understand and respect their traditions.

Asia is overflowing with customs and little etiquettes. It is very important to try and adhere to these. Not only will local people feel respected, they will respect you in return, allowing you a fuller experience. After all you are a visitor in their country.

When you are travelling try to travel independently instead of in large group tours. This will result in low impact, helping to sustain the local culture and environment. It will also enable you to have a much more meaningful travel experience as you will get much more opportunities to meet the locals and see more of the country off the beaten track.

Always ask before taking a photo of anyone in Asia. Pointing at your camera with raised eyebrows will usually suffice. Respect their wishes if they decline your very kind offer.

Try and learn a little of the local language. Even just some basic greetings and thank you. You will find that people respond very well to this. This will give you the chance to talk to the locals even if it just to say hello or thank you.

Visitors to religious and historic sites should pay particular attention to the following: be sure to dress appropriately and follow local guidelines, be mindful of your manners and local etiquette and never remove anything from religious or historical sites.

Responsible travel in Asia is an amazing experience that will last for many years to come.
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