Saturday, February 12, 2011

What is responsible tourism?

To help enjoy the richness of Peru, we suggest you think about the following during your visit.
Be sensitive to local customs.

Conduct that may be acceptable in certain Western communities (ie. Drug use, nude sun bathing, loud and gregarious public conversation) is not appropriate in this region and culture.

Don’t hand out sweets, loose change or small gifts, this only serves to corrupt and create begging mentality where none existed before.

Churches are often viewed as tourist attractions; however, their primary purpose is as houses of worship for local residents; visitors should be quiet and respectful.

Be aware of people’s sensitivity to be photographed; always ask first.

Be perceptive of your own cultural values and how they affect your judgment of others. There are many different concepts of time, personal space, communication etc. which are not wrong or inferior, just different.

Act as an example for other travelers who are less informed than you!

Be flexible in your expectations

Approach your travels with an open mind and you won’t be disappointed. Sometimes plans change and an chance for more in-depth learning or a unique cultural experience presents itself.

Adapt yourself to the situation rather than trying to change the situation to you.

Bridging the cultural gaps

Take the opportunity to be a cultural ambassador. Much of the world’s image of western tourists is based on the unrealities of television and magazines. Look for situations for cultural exchange whereby learning about each other’s lives is mutual. Getting to know the person sitting next to you on a local bus or the person cooking your food takes is often a rewarding experience (and a good chance to practice your Spanish!).

Practice environmental minimum impact

Follow the international “Leave No Trace” rules. Pack out everything that you bring in, including toilet paper (if there is no toilet) or plastic water bottles. Relieve yourself at least 70 meters from any water source. Remove litter that others leave behind.

When hiking, stay on the trail. Don’t trample delicate vegetation or remove any form of plant or animal life.

Don’t approach, surround or chase animals you may observe in order to get a photograph.

No comments: