Firstly, we’d like to thank you for clicking on this article. Recently we have seen a major rise in overtourism and anti-tourism sentiment throughout Europe. We love tourism, but we can no longer ignore the effect it is having on the community and their environment. Due to this shift and the need for swift action the WTTC, World Travel & Tourism Council, launched their IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK campaign. This campaign encourages travellers to adopt responsible and sustainable practices. All of this in order to make them “more mainstream” and better tourist. It is up to us to change the way travel is done, the sector will not change on its own.
Here we have 5 Ways to be a better tourist
Don’t follow the crowd
This tip is easy for us. We are a company that values experiences that are ‘off the beaten track’. Our Wildthentic Experiences usually take place in remote destinations. Also we make sure to keep our groups small and avoid mass tourism at all cost. If you are more interested in visiting heavily visited destinations and touristic hot spots such as Rome and or Barcelona, we suggest you do your research. Visit the popular tourist sites and or cultural areas either early in the morning or late at night. This allows you to get more out of the experience. Plus, the locals appreciate staggered visits as opposed to a stampede of tourists.
Travel during the off and or shoulder season
Another way to be a better tourist is to travel to a destination during its low season (also called in some places the ‘green season’ aka rainy season, when the nature is blooming). This requires a bit of organization, but it not only gives you access to better deals, it also eases the pressure on a destination…win-win! Just make sure the weather is pleasant.
Skip the touristy things for a day
Forget your guidebook and prepare for a (safe) day of roaming. This type of tourism will allow you to connect with the local culture while also showing the citizens that you care to live like them. Leaving your phone at home and simply following your nose allows you to experience things that cannot be found in a guidebook. We suggest you ask locals and open-up to getting to know the culture in a deeper and more meaningful way, who knows both parties might learn a thing or two.
Be a better tourist by shopping local
Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions! Most cultures embrace tourist who show a genuine interest in their country and business. Ask if the business is locally-owned and if the products are locally-sourced. Try to shop mom and pop over big corporate businesses and avoid shopping for cheap imitation souvenirs (which have likely been imported from abroad), rather do spend your money on regional products found in local shops instead.
Reduce your waste
This one is a biggie for us. Although we suggest you continue this effort during your ‘normal life’ hours as well and should be taken very seriously. From the beaches of Thailand to the streets of London, plastic waste is an issue that has plagued touristic regions all over the globe. Therefore, we recommend you take a few simple steps. For example carrying a reusable water bottle and washable cloth napkins. We also suggest shorter showers, especially in areas where water is scarce, using solid shampoos and or conditioners. Another example would be downloading entertainment instead of buying magazines and or colouring books for the children.
These are just a few of our tips on how to be a better tourist. Let us know if you have any of your own. If you’re interested in getting to know more about local cultures as well as travel Do’s and Don’ts we suggest you look at our Wildthentic Destinations page. Pick a country and familiarise yourself with their cuisine, customs, traditions, and or value system. This page also features a packing list, all this information will help you and guide you on your journey to becoming a better tourist
Check out our Destinations page as well as the I Pledge section of the WTTC web campaign.
This page allows you to sign off on various ways you intend to change and or improve your tourism consumption whether it be through demanding sustainability, educating yourself, or reducing your use of plastic, your pledge can go a long way and provide a lasting impact. You may also submit your own pledge!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article and for your interest in making the world a better place. We look forward to creating a better planet for future generations along with your help. Make sure to comment below and let us know what other actions you are taking in order to promote responsible travel!