Travelling With Respect PDF Print E-mail

Whether you are going to The Vatican in Rome, Ayers Rock in Australia or a remote village in the Vietnamese highlands, travellers have an impact on the people and places they visit. This shouldn't have a negative effect on local environments and economies, in fact by sticking to a few simple rules and showing respect it should be a positive experience for both locals and travellers.

Responsible travellers should balance the desire to experience the world with a respect for the cultural and natural heritage of local environments and societies. Traveller, backpacker, or explorer, you are always a guest in another country.

Here are a few tips to make your trip more enriching:

  • Research your destination before you travel - Find out about local practices, customs, greetings and religious traditions to help you respect and better understand the local people and culture. Talk to other travellers to find out about recent experiences and information which may not be found in guide books
  • Welcome diversity - Travel is all about having an open mind and being inquisitive, so remember although certain local customs may initially seem strange, they can represent thousands of years of cherished history and culture. Try and learn from them   
  • Support host communities - By purchasing regional products instead of imported goods you are supporting the local economy. Use local services and businesses which employ members of the community, it is far more enriching and is mutually beneficial
  • Respect the local culture - When conversations focus on local politics, religion, customs and methods of dress, be objective and try to understand the local perspective. If you do have opposing views, share your ideas rather than imposing them so as to not offend
  • Think carefully about your behaviour - It is essential to know about local laws and attitudes towards drugs and alcohol. In some places alcohol and drugs are either culturally offensive, illegal or both, as well as dangerous to you and local young people who can be forced to enter the drugs trade
  • Learn a few words - Try to learn some words in the local language such as thank you, please and hello, as it will be warmly welcome and shows a respect for the culture   
  • Religion - In some countries there is no clear distinction between religious and civil law. Don't assume that religion is simply a matter of personal choice local customs and laws should be respected
  • Dress appropriately - You should respect any dress code required for admittance into places of worship, such as covering up shoulders and legs or removing your shoes
  • Think before you snap - Always ask before you photograph people, traditional ceremonies and any important artefacts to avoid causing offence

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