Best Connection Travel®

Sustainable Tourism

From Wikipedia: Sustainable tourism is the concept of visiting a place as a tourist and trying to make only a positive impact on the local environment, society and economy.  Kind of like the Scout philosophy of leaving a place better than you found it!

Before you go

  • Read up on local cultures and learn a few words of the local language - traveling with respect earns you respect. Find out what type of clothing is offensive? What hand (and foot!) gestures are unacceptable? What is the "proper" way to eat in your destination? What topics should you avoid discussing while there?
  • Remove all excess packaging  - waste disposal is difficult in remote places and developing countries. Unwrap batteries. Take full toiletries - don't plan to finish it and leave the empty there. Purchase a refillable, filtered water bottle.
  • Ask your travel agent for specific tips for responsible travel in your destination 
  • Ask your travel agent if there are useful gifts that you could pack for the local people or schools.

While on vacation

  • Buy local products in preference to imported goods
  • Hire a local guide - you'll discover more about local culture and lives, and they will earn an income
  • Do not buy products made from endangered species, hard woods or ancient artifacts
  • Please respect local cultures, traditions and holy places. Should your head be covered? Knees not showing? Shoes removed?  What bathing suits are acceptable locally? If in doubt, ask advice or don't visit.
  • Use public transport, Hire a bike or walk when convenient – it’s a great way to meet local people on their terms and reduce pollution and carbon emissions. Ask yor travel agent which tour operators arrange group travel using only local guides and public transport.
  • Use water sparingly – it’s very precious in many countries and tourists tend to use far more than local people. TAKE YOUR FILTERED WATER BOTTLE
  • Remember that local people have different ways of thinking and concepts of time, this just makes them different, not wrong
  • Cultivate the habit of asking questions (rather than the Western habit of knowing the answers).

When you get home

  • Give us your feedback about your vacation, including any suggestions on reducing environmental impacts and increasing benefits to local communities. 
  • If you've promised to send pictures or gifts to local people remember to do so, many are promised and not all arrive!
  • Why not donate to a local project in the area you’ve visited? Take a look at Kiva for community and environmental projects around the world. 
  • Enjoy the memories, reflect on your experience and start planning your next trip!
We travel to see something new. New landscapes, different cultures, iconic sites. If the entire world was like our own we would never need to leave home. Differences are good. it's what makes travel fascinating. Different cultures have evolved in different ways, using available resources. If another culture doesn't share your standard of living, it's not something that needs to be pointed out to them or "fixed". Remember when traveling, YOU ARE an ambassador for the U.S. Be respectful, don't criticize.
Take only pictures, leave only smiles
Link to Kiva

Kiva Microfunds is a 501 non-profit organization that allows people to lend money via the Internet to low-income, underserved familes, entrepreneurs and students in over 70 countries. These are projects that are started by locals and are important enough to them that they are willing to borrow the funds to complete them,' i.e. THEY see the need. THEY want to improve their standard of living and the work is initiated and supervised locally. Loans are made in increments of $25 and can include such projects as indoor plumbing, water filters and community irrigation.