As more and more people begin to travel, making sure tourism does not disrupt destinations and the life of the locals, is vital, especially in view of increasing measures for overtourism, anti-tourism protests and a growing anti-tourist sentiment across Europe.
To address the challenge, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) launched a campaign last year titled “Is It Too Much To Ask?” in efforts to raise awareness about good manners among travelers.
“The campaign identifies a series of pledges that tourists should make in order for them to be more responsible in their travel behaviour,” said Rochelle Turner, research director at the WTTC. “There is a responsibility on the tourist.”
This said, Telegraph Travel published a brief traveler etiquette guide which suggests ways for travelers to do their part in making the destinations they visit better for the locals, the environment and their fellow holidaymakers.
Ways You Can Be a Better Tourist
- Consider going somewhere else. Always think of alternative options secondary or tertiary cities such Utrecht instead of Amsterdam, Verona over Venice. This will improve your holiday experience and promote lesser-known destinations, which also tend to be cheaper.
- Steer clear of the so-called honeypot sites or locations attracting massive number of tourists. It will make your life easier.
- Travel off season: shoulder season promises better weather, cheaper prices, fewer people.
- Leave your phone and guidebook behind and explore, get lost, experience the destination.
- Choose to stay in locally-owned accommodation as profits are more likely to go back into the local economy rather than into giant multinationals.
- Ask, ask ask: Asking questions about anything from food sources to the hotel’s environmental impact can contribute to making tourism companies change. If a business realizes it’s losing customers because it doesn’t support the local economy or protect the environment, then it will likely change practices.
- Speak the local language.
- Buy locally-made products and avoid cheap mass-produced souvenirs.
- Do your part and reduce plastic waste. And always pick up after.
- Be respectful: don’t forget, people are still going about their daily lives at your holiday destination. And be culturally alert. Abide by the local laws, respect local customs and dress appropriately.