Responsible tourism is any form of tourism that can be consumed in a more responsible way. Responsible tourism means sustainable tourism; this refers to small steps taken by our organization to give back to the community and environment.
Responsible tourism is tourism which:
- Minimizes negative social, economic and environmental impact
- Generates greater economic benefit for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities
- Improves working conditions and access to the industry
- Involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances
- Makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage by embracing diversity
- Provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues
- Provides access for physically challenged people
- Is culturally sensitive, encourages respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence
- We make a constant effort to Involve Local People in decisions that affects or might affect their lives and work towards local prosperity
- We provide access for people with disabilities and the disadvantaged
- We are culturally sensitive, engendering respect between tourists and host and building local pride and confidence.
- We provide more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local culture, social & environmental issues.
- Our daily processes are targeted towards generation of greater economic benefits for locals; and enhancing the well-being of host communities, improving working conditions and access to the industry
- We hire mostly locals in all business processes, giving them employment opportunities and empowering them to be self-sustainable. This is our way of giving back to society.
- We make our guests aware about various Natural & Cultural heritage of the region being visited.
How tourists can contribute to Responsible tourism
- Meeting local people
- Remember that you are a guest. Be open and respect their way of living. Learn and experience.
- Be extra careful when visiting holy places like churches, temples or sacred grounds. Be aware of how you dress according to local customs.
- Always show respect for elderly people regardless of status and work.
- Show respect for beggars and think twice before you give anything to children. You may encourage them to continue begging.
- Ask before taking pictures of people and do not interrupt if the situation does not allow. Some places may charge a small fee for taking photos.
- Be polite and do not provoke.
- Be careful where you smoke and drink alcohol. Smoking is not yet common in many small communities and travelers should not encourage local people to smoke. Some areas also have strict rules about smoking and drinking. Alcohol is in many places a major social problem.
Be careful with use of resources
- Water is a very important resource in any country – try conserving it.
- Do not let the tap water run unnecessarily while brushing your teeth etc.
- Do not use more towels then necessary.
- Turn off lamps and other electrical equipment when they are not in use.
Experience New / Local food
- Try local dishes in local restaurants.
- Try not to eat all your meals at one place – but spread your money and increase your experience by trying out different restaurants.
- Buy local food and contribute to local economic growth.
Support excursions that contribute to the local community
- Choose environmentally friendly excursions even if it costs a little more money.
- Use local transport when possible and don’t be afraid to ask questions whilst on the excursion.
Be a conscious shopper
- Do not buy/encourage products made of endangered species. Cultural heritage is not a souvenir! Do not purchase such items or take “trophies” from places you are visiting. You can usually buy copies in souvenir shops.
- Bargaining is culture in many places. But don’t let it become a sport! Pay a fair price that both parties are happy about.
- Buy locally produced goods and services and take an interest in where the items are being produced.
- Never buy drugs – you may end up spending years in prison. Thailand is very strict about drug users.
Be careful with your surroundings
- Leave wildflowers and plants alone and enjoy them in their natural environment.
- Respect wild animals and keep your distance for your own safety. Don’t feed wild animals or cause unnecessary noise.
- Do not litter outdoors or in the street. If there is no bin – take your trash with you.
Some of the steps Travstore has adopted for building sustainable tourism.
- To minimize the environmental impact created by tourists, Travstore educate clients about the impact of their actions on the environment. When visiting national parks, Travstore makes sure all the waste is collected & disposed of causing zero harm to nature. We make sure that our guests take only photographs and leave only footprints.
- We encourage carpooling among our guests, doing our little bit in reducing the carbon footprint
- We educate our guests about preserving biodiversity of the region, not littering in public places
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- Mae-Kampong Tea-leaves Pillow Group
Mae-Kampong is a small Hamlet located near Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. The village is yet to see the light of development. The locals grew a special type of tea called as Bai-Miang which is an important part of their diet. Certain groups extract tea leaves and fill into pillows for sale. The group braids many types of pillowcases, then packs these with dried tea-leaves that reduce moisture; for avoiding fungus. The last step is to pack tea leaf pillows in plastic bags to prevent dampening. Tea-leaves pillows help resist bacteria, balance body, absorb bad smell. Moreover, the tea scent relieves tension, increases relaxation and reduces allergies.
Travstore procures Herbal Tea Pillows from locals and gifts these pillows to our guests as a souvenir, which will remind them of the amazing time they had in Thailand.