Thoughts on Responsible Tourism: Educating travelers about traveling responsibly

Responsible Tourism Educate Travelers

I’ve been a big fan of the weekly Responsible Tourism Twitter Chat (#RTTC) since its early days, as it’s an enjoyable and engaging (not to mention easy) way to find a lot of inspirations about how to travel more responsibly and how to help make travel and tourism more sustainable.

A couple of weeks ago, the theme of the chat was Indigenous Tourism, and I was part of a discussion within the chat about how challenging it can be to deal with the preconceived expectations that travelers often have about how Indigenous communities “should” be – because they often influence how tourism products are developed, based on what is considered as “marketable”.

And in this context, this question came up: Who’s responsible for educating travelers?

Many of us – including industry professionals and travelers – probably agree that we all have a role to play in promoting better education among travelers about responsible behavior, which would include things like not imposing certain stereotypes and prejudices on other countries and peoples. But are we taking this responsibility seriously? Are we doing enough?

That’s what inspired me to write this piece, which I posted on TraningAid.org:

“… This suggestion – that everyone involved in benefiting from tourism, including travelers, should be responsible for responsible travel education – probably sounds reasonable and somewhat common-sense to many people. But the reality of our industry today, I think, is that there’s still a big gap between how important we know educating travelers is and how travelers are actually getting opportunities to be educated about traveling responsibly. That said, there are many initiatives and resources – including, of course, the #RTTC – that are helping improve the status quo. Here are just a handful of examples of organizations, programs and campaigns that are aimed at educating travelers about responsible travel.” (From “Responsible Tourism: Whose Responsibility Is It to Educate Travelers?“)

The examples introduced in the above article include some of my favorite organizations and initiatives that are offering tangible solutions to key sustainability challenges facing the travel and tourism industry around the world, and I’ve also added a list of inspiring stories, blogs, and places to find more discussions on this topic.

Hope you enjoy, and please do share the link, and share your own ideas and inspirations on responsible tourism initiatives for travelers, so that more travelers will become aware of these issues and will be able to find and access solutions they can be part of.

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