Tips for Avoiding Guilt Trips
Tourism is the world's largest service industry, employing around 235 million (2010) people across the world, approximately 8 per cent of the global workforce. It can be a huge force for fighting human and environmental exploitation.
Anyone can be a responsible tourist and Avoid Guilt Trips. There are big things you can do and small things you can do, but they all make a difference to someone's life.
Take action and have a better holiday!
1) Be aware
Start enjoying your travels before you leave. Think about what sort of clothing is appropriate for both men and women. If the locals are covered up, what sort of messages may you be sending out by exposing acres of flesh?
2) Be open
Something may seem 'bizarre' or 'odd' to you, but it may be normal and just the way things are done to the locals at your destination. Try not to assume that the western way is right or best. Talk to local people. What do they think about our lifestyle, clothes and customs? Find out about theirs.
3) Our holidays - their homes
Ask before taking pictures of people, even children, or their possessions, and respect their wishes.
4) "One school pen"
Giving to children encourages begging. A donation to a project, health centre or school is more constructive.
5) Be fair
Try to put money into local hands. If you haggle for the lowest price, your bargain may be at the seller's expense. Even if you pay a little over the odds, does it really matter?
6) Be adventurous
Use your guidebook or hotel as a starting point, not the only source of information. Find out what's going on by talking to locals, then have your own adventures…
7) Ask questions
Write a letter to your tour operator about their responsible tourism policy.
We will give a FREE copy of our Ethical Travel Guide to the sender of the best (or worst) operator reply.
8) Think before you fly
Use alternative forms of transport where possible. The more and further you fly, the more you contribute to global warming and environmental destruction. Consider flying long-haul less often but staying longer when you're there.
9) Be controversial!
Join Tourism Concern’s Campaign Action Network using the form at the bottom of this page or support our WET campaign to ensure that local people get a fair share of clean water.
10) Be happy
By taking any, some or all of these actions you are personally fighting tourism exploitation. Enjoy your guilt-free trip!
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