Responsible Travel - The top line
Responsible travel is a new way of travelling for those who've had enough of mass tourism. It's about respecting and benefiting local people and the environment – but it's about far more than that.
If you travel for relaxation, fulfilment, discovery, adventure and to learn – rather than simply to tick off 'places and things' – then responsible travel is for you.
Responsible travel suits life's curious adventurers and enthusiasts.
Flying and global warming
Most of things that we do in our lives contribute to carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. Air travel - although currently a relatively small contributor (less than 5%) - is the fastest growing source of CO2 emissions. We must all take action to reduce our CO2 emissions across our entire lives, and this includes accepting that we must fly significantly less than we do now. When we do fly on holiday its even more important than our holiday is a responsible one. For our ideas on how to be a more responsible traveller, including reducing your emissions read our tips here
Getting more out of your holiday
Responsible travel is about bringing you closer to local cultures and environments by involving local people in tourism. It's about doing this in a fair way that helps ensure that they will give you an even warmer welcome. For example, a local guide from the destination will open your eyes to their cultures and ways of life far better than an expat guide could ever do – they will also earn a much needed income from you.
The responsible traveller prefers smaller groups, and to meet some local people (as well as fellow travellers) rather than be surrounded by 1000's of people from back home. They don't like being herded about in a large crowd like nameless faces and understand that travelling in smaller groups makes local people and cultures more accessible.
The responsible travellers wants to get a little bit more out of their travels, and to give a little bit back to the special places and people that they encounter. They want deeper and more real travel experiences. The responsible traveller values authenticity – experiences integral to local people's traditions, cultures and rituals - rather than those created for tourism, or those whose existing meanings and uses have become lost as they have been packaged up for tourism. No more 'Greek nights' in resorts with the only Greek people there to serve food please!
At the same time the responsible traveller understands that some cultural experiences are best kept private, and that their visit would be an intrusion. They believe that travelling with respect earns them respect.
Responsible travel is about re-discovering how to experience nature and to be in it, feeling it, smelling it and learning about it rather than just looking at it. Through this they replenish their souls. They would rather get out on foot than sit in a big bus, and are determined to leave no physical evidence of their visit but their footprints.
The responsible traveller understands local peoples relationship with environments, and that income from tourism can be a powerful incentive for conservation. The responsible traveller values diversity – diversity of people, cultures and environments.
They believe that they can grow as individuals through these experiences, and that their trip can make a positive contribution towards conserving global diversity.
Above all else the responsible traveller wants to cut loose and experience their world. The experienced responsible traveller knows how difficult it can be to do the right thing – and is humble and learns from their mistakes. Whether they travel independently, or through a leading responsible travel operator, the responsible traveller makes and experiences a difference.
Take a look at our responsible travel tips
Read more about responsible tourism
Search for responsible holidays