Is responsible tourism utopia or something else, that is the question…
You know how fairytales begin: Once upon a time…Well, let’s start things this way. Once upon a time, people lived in harmony with nature, each other and with their inner self. They knew how to truly love and respect. How to be honest, noble, responsible. It was only natural, like drinking a glass of water when thirsty. Nowadays, everything seems to be so complicated. Modern tendencies definitely took their toll. Somehow, somewhere, we lost this natural behavior. We learn how to love and respect. How to be good parents, friends… maybe I’m over exaggerating, maybe that’s what every generation feels. On the other hand, there’s a little bit of truth in all this.
Ok, now we have an introduction, let’s see about the plot of this story and more important, its conclusion and ending.
Happily, there are open minded people with deep sense of humanity, global and local responsibility. These ‘rare species’ are striving to influence others, to convert their perspective in order to make them observe and act in accordance with responsible behaviour.
The aspect of responsible behaviour includes a wide range of things and among them – responsible tourism. It’s a great concept with practical ideas and noble objective. The followers of this concept are giving their best shots to spare and save not only the natural environment but also the local community of further humiliation and destruction. In brief, there are four main points: economic, social, cultural and environmental. What does it actually mean? Economic moment includes possibility to really earn from tourism facilities. Spirit Journeys team are one of devoted followers of responsible tourism. For example, in Cambodia and Myanmar, half of the fees go to the villages enrichment funds.
Their aim is to improve the lives of people in these and other countries. This also involves hiring local guides, promotion of local products, food, culture and customs. That’s the socio-cultural aspect of responsible tourism. People in these countries are poor but proud and make their best efforts to survive. It’s a noble deed to support them and give them a chance. Now we come to the environmental aspect of the whole story. I’ll give you a witty example. At least once in your life, you had the following situation – the worst possible kind of guests are in your home. Indifferent parents with nasty children. They are throwing your things all around, running, screaming…with every little chocolate fingerprint on your, once clean walls and furniture, you’re getting more and more upset. And there’s nothing you can do. Because, look how cute they are. It’s the same with nasty and selfish attitude and impact of tourists concerning the environment of the places they visit. In short, the point is to minimise the impact on the natural environment and to increase the respect and awareness.
Now we come to the conclusion and ending. In my opinion, this story should have a happy ending. Responsible tourism is not utopia. It’s a need, urge, obligation. Sharing good ideas is the point. Sharing love, friendship, peace, responsibility. If you share ideas and positive examples of responsible tourism, this concept will survive.