Responsible Traveller and Tourism
Adapted from the association ATR, to act for responsible tourism.
“Two worlds meet every time a person moves from one country to another. We are travellers, tourists, discoverers; we are all of these in turn at once? but without a shadow of a doubt, we are always a guest, the countries we visit with so much pleasure are our guests, all the happiness of a trip can be based on this sometimes delicate relationship.
There are many ways to travel, to understand other environments, but inevitably we leave traces on our way. Warm, generous, discreet, dangerous and unalterable sometimes.
We learn a little more on the occasion of new trips. Each region is different and yet we are often confronted with the same questions, doubts, and our own certainties. We wanted to bring together within a TRAVELER ETHICS CHARTER what we think is the most representative of behaviours or attitudes to encourage.
Learning to discover other cultures without judging them, trusting common sense and keeping a few tips in mind, all this seems like a pledge of a beautiful journey but also a sustainable development of our planet.
Traveller Ethics Charter
Acknowledgments / Dissemination
We would like to thank all those who contributed to the development of this text. Its diffusion is one of many conditions to obtain certification towards a Responsible Tourism awarded by Ecocert, according to the criteria developed by ATR (Acting for Responsible Tourism).
This text has for us only a pedagogical vocation. The proposals made and the “advice” given are only the gathering and shaping of notions that you all know. Nevertheless, we think that this little reminder can only be beneficial. Have a good read and especially a good trip!
Responsible Traveller: Respect is The Guarantee of a Better Meeting
One of the attractions of the trip is the diversity of peoples and cultures encountered. But every culture, religion, and way of life is subject to rules and traditions that should be respected and understood, rather than judged. The journey is not conceived without respect and humility vis-à-vis the people, goods, culture, and way of life of the country visited. This respect translates into simple, day-to-day attitudes.
– We will come from different backgrounds and education and what might be the norm to us in our home country might prove not that straight forward when we travel.
– Hosts take care of their guests as best as they can but might not know every individual expectation. If unsure about certain things (meal times, what’s on your plate, local customs), do not hesitate to ask and learn. It is your first step in blending in and gives you an authentic experience.
Responsible Tourism: Only The Footprint of Our Footsteps
The natural space and cultural sites are often the main tourist attractions of a country and the first motivation of the travellers who go there. Travellers, therefore, have a responsibility to the environment of the host country.
“Cultural heritage records the history of future generations”
The main causes of degradation of this extremely vulnerable heritage include inappropriate restorations, pollution, bad weather and the impact of tourism. Simple gestures, such as caressing a marble statue or a fresco, provoke a disaster when they are repeated thousands of times by more or less sophisticated visitors.
These sites are unalterable, it is thought, and since they have survived for centuries, they are eternal… Nothing is less true! When traveling, keep this thought in mind. While this conservation requires the intervention of specialists, local governments and international institutions (such as UNESCO, ICCROM), it also presupposes a collective effort and individual awareness.
Responsible Traveller: While Enjoying This Heritage, Avoid:
- to degrade works of art, sites or monuments, in particular by often indelible graffiti,
- to bring back “memories” that are part of the natural heritage, including underwater,
- to move stones and objects,
- to climb the sites,
- hitting the walls decorated with frescoes with your backpack,
- to deposit rubbish and leave garbage behind you, … and make sure to respect the measures taken by the governmental authorities with regard to the regulation of tourist flows or entry to the sites, as well as the policies of development, the restoration, and preservation of monuments. “
For more information:
-ECPAT International: www.ecpat.net
-The International Ecotourism Society: www.ecotourism.org
-WTO (World Tourism Organization): www.world-tourism.org > “infoshop” section
-UNEP (United Nations Environment Program): www.uneptie.org
-Conservation International: www.conservation.org
-UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization): www.unesco.org
-ICCROM (International Center for the Study of the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property): www.iccrom.org
-ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) www.international.icomos.org