Traveling for holidays is a privilege that you should enjoy for relaxation and rejuvenation of the body. Lately, ethical tourism awareness is growing in society. Is it just a new trend that will soon fade away? This page will define what ethical tourism is, why ethical tourism is important, and key ethical problems. Finally, we will list ethical tourism types and how to become an ethical tourist.
What is ethical tourism?
Ethics is defined as moral principles that determine your actions. Ethics guide moral beliefs of what is right or wrong. Setting positive moral standards that regulate your actions when you travel is being ethical. Ethical tourism is also being responsible for the local people, environmental and economic sustainability. Deciding to be an accountable tourist will positively affect society and the tourism industry.
Therefore, as an ethical tourist, you will think about how your actions and presence in another person’s home can affect them. Ethical tourism is sustainable tourism because of its positive effects on the local people, economy, and nature. You may ask who sets the ethical tourism standards? You do; with your actions.
Why is ethical tourism necessary?
Ethical tourism is essential because of the issue of over tourism to certain destinations. Just imagine the volume of travelers that visited pristine places and dumped plastic bottles there, causing damage to nature. The world has realized that people must take care of the Ecosystem. Ethical tourism is a warning to behave well when visiting another country.
Furthermore, global warming may be another reason ethical tourism is becoming a general trend. Hence, international leaders and companies are taking steps to lower carbon emissions. Energy sources such as biofuels, solar energy, and wind turbines are alternatives. But these technological innovations for sustainable energy are not enough. Hence, sustainable tourism is a welcome contribution to saving the earth.
What are the key ethical tourism problems?
The main ethical tourism problems faced include:
Uneven Income distribution
There is a lot of wealth in the tourism Industry. But that income is not evenly shared by tourist destinations. Top western countries earn more from tourism than developing destinations.
In the less developed economies, tourists mostly lodge in multinational hotels and avoid local hotels and restaurants. Likewise, tourism causes gentrification. That is a displacement of the local people who are forced to vacate their former areas due to tourism induced the high cost of living.
Furthermore, tourism could influence people to abandon their usual way of earning an income for a new one like gambling. Sex tourism causes young girls to seek new and faster ways of earning a living by moving into cities to join the sex trade.
The abuse of children and women
If you have ever bought anything from children hawking items on the street when they should be in school, you are contributing to the abuse of children. In some areas, parents send their children to sell things to tourists to earn money for the family. They sometimes send children to beg. In some countries, women are exploited to join the sex tourism trade.
Capturing wild animals, taming them, and caging them is unethical. Some tourism operators showcase animals in entertainment who perform for humans to watch. These animals should be in green environments unrestrained.
Tourists cause environmental pollution by generating carbon footprints by boarding a flight that does not use biofuels. Buying a carbon offset is new, but failing to buy one is an unethical travel practice. Also, not traveling by land transportation to the destination and littering the surroundings with plastic bottles is unethical.
Effect of tourism on local culture
As a tourist, learn about the local culture and religion, so that you don’t violate their norms. So, don’t take a photograph without asking for permission, and dress suitably while you are abroad.
Ethical tourism types
There are various examples of ethical tourism, including:
Charity Tourism that focuses on helping needy people directly through foundations. The Tourist may book tours and donate to establishments in the travel and tours market that support charity, such as the Travel Foundation.
Community tourism focuses on involving the community in planning tourism in a local area. Citizens serve as service providers and workers to earn money.
Ecotourism centers on the conservation of the environment. This is a sustainable tourism initiative in that community. Ecotourism influences a country, to use solar-powered electricity, to reduce damage to nature.
Other kinds of tourism are Geotourism which boosts geographical characteristics in a location, and slow tourism which lessens speed during travel—using a train and backpacking.
How can you become an ethical tourist?
To become an ethical tourist, don’t do things discussed under problems of ethical tourism. Note the following: use the environment with sustainability in mind, and don’t throw refuse around; Conserve water and nature, and don’t watch shows where animals entertain the spectators. Also, don’t feed wild animals; choose slow tourism, fly bio-fueled airplanes, and use land transportation. In addition:
- Don’t use plastic cups, and come with a water bottle.
- Learn the local language, don’t break social-cultural norms
- Don’t give money to beggars
- Boost the local economy by lodging in community hotels.
- Buy things from stores in the locality,
- Book your reservation with a local holiday operator.
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