Tuesday, December 8, 2015

responsible tourism

Hardly possible, but what’s the harm in dreaming!!! If my luck opens and my Boss offers me open tickets for vacation and says, “Madhu! Take few days off…enjoy with your family….”  Where would I love to go, if it really happens? ;) 

Honestly, I would think about the places where I can relax, soothe my eyes and mind, and also get to know something new, though “Nature”….yes, amidst nature, I would prefer always. Of course, nobody would love to go to a place which is dirty, no natural beauty, and among people with lots of complexity.

I believe, as tourists, we have some responsibilities and as hosts, the local people of that place too have some duties.

Photo Courtesy: Bidip Gogoi , Location: Assam

So, as responsible tourists, what are our responsibilities?

Get inspired by Swachh Bharat concept. Treat the place as our second home, does not matter how many days we are there. Keep the place clean, set an example if needed. Many secret lovers love to express their love in script on the walls of the historical monuments, on beautiful trees, litter on the roads, throw away polythene, food items anywhere. We should be extra careful to discourage or stop these acts. Search for a recycling bin or carry a potli or bag to keep your waste while you are on the road. Use your own refillable water bottle, if possible.

Keep Conscience up. Many people’s life depends on the tourism in these places. So, try to bargain and shop stuff without exploiting the poverty of sellers. Try to avoid buying any product which is made from an endangered plant or animal, which may indirectly help to lower the demand for illegal trade. 

Reduce pollution by using local transportation. Plan properly. Make itinerary beforehand. Research and note the nearby places of your destination and all possibility of commuting. Use local bus, train or hire a bike or bicycle which not only helps mingling with local people, but also be cheaper mode of transportation.

Respect and get a feel of local culture. We should respect the local culture, their customs and traditions of the place. Different places and people have their own style of living, dressing, food-habits, looks etc. We don’t have any right to make fun of it, or exploit it and also we should not dress and act inappropriately. Instead, try to enjoy with them, I am sure the local people will also be very happy to serve you, help you.

Besides, we should obey and follow the local rules and regulations in order to maintain modesty and decorum. We should not take photographs or shoot videos at the strictly prohibited places. 

Photo Courtesy: Bidip Gogoi , Location: Assam
As the hosts, the local people of the place also have some responsibilities.

Atithi Devo Bhava”: a guest is equivalent to God. Many people earn their living on tourism. Tourists help in the development of the place. The local people should create a safe and secure environment for the tourists.

Should not fleece the tourists. Many local sellers charge double the cost of the stuff, which are only available in that place. In holy places, the pundits charge money without any reason, which ultimately make bad name of the place. Taxiwala or Autowala also try to cheat the tourists in different way. So, it’s the responsibility of the local people to understand their duties and responsibilities towards the tourists.

People should be welcoming. If the tourists want to know about the local culture, nearby places or any other information, they should welcome and help them without any hesitation. It reflects the image of the place and people.

Be extra careful to keep the place clean. A proper planning of the local people is also important to keep the place clean, like keeping recycling bin in particular places, arranging drinking water in various places etc. 

These are just few points, but let's be responsible traveller and responsible host too and encourage Responsible Tourism. 

*I am blogging for #ResponsibleTourism activity by Outlook Traveller in association with BlogAdda

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