Responsible tourism demands a set of actions you should initiate and there are still other actions which don’t sit well on your trip and which you should refrain from delivering. Here is a list which is certainly not exhaustive, and there may be still other actions and inactions that would merit a mention:
a)While camping in the countryside or having a long hike across a mountainous country or while on a wild life safari, the un-spelt and unannounced code of nature is to observe silence. You may communicate with each other using sign language or on a low tone hushed voice.
b) Noise pollution is a big issue. It scares off the animals that might have been around in peace. The shrill resonance shatters the general tranquility, and the destructive effects of high pitched shouts may extend to dangerous results. It can unsettle a heap of boulders causing the mound to tumble down turning into rolling mass of lethal rocks.
c) A common habit of tourists especially among the love birds high on romance is to engrave their names, promises, fragments of prose into tree barks. This is an act against nature and may cause harm to the plant life. If we care so much about nature, we must abstain from actions going against their wellbeing. Plucking wild flowers and offering to your sweetheart would be alright if done on a limited scale. However, your outburst of passion quite often takes you beyond tolerable limits. Whatever you do beyond that would defeat the spirit of responsible tourism.
d)Among jungle campers, it is common to start bonfires and barbecues right in the middle of greenery. Darks fumes of choking smokes fill the air. Heaps of waste carbon settle in the environment spelling disaster to the ecological balance. Animals scamper in fright and birds give out panicked call before the leave the terrifying place, which was once their peaceful nesting ground. Mayhem sets in, and the calm forest comes alive with distress wails. Camp fires can lead to large scale forest fires reducing the plant and animal life to charred remains. Forest fires caused extensive damages and in some cases greenery is wiped out over vast expanses disrupting the ecological cycle. Rains become sporadic leading to killer droughts and the soil becomes barren and fails to support any plant life in the future. The damage had been done permanently! And it may all happen just because of your irresponsible action.
(e) Dumping garbage and littering the environment with non-biodegradable refuse is a crime against nature. You should think a hundred times before you pack your food leftovers in a polythene wrapper and leave it round the corner of a bush. You have just planted unknowingly an item of murderous potential. The odor of the food might draw a hungry animal choking on the polypack. You have committed a murder! So never dump wastes on nature’s realm. This is not the right place to do it.
(f)Among other filthy habits that go against the very purpose of responsible tourism is dumping empty beer cans and booze bottles. The sharp edges of the metal and shards of glasses could inflict gore on animals coming into contact. This is another very irresponsible act of the tourist.
(g)Defecation and urination in unauthorized places could spread contaminating diseases fast. Germs carried over from sick tourists may well break into an animal epidemic in the forest. This happens because of the irresponsible tourist behavior.
h) Lovable animals like a stray rabbit, a doe kid or a frolicking cheetah cub may draw close. An urge to caress and pat or even to feed overwhelms the mind. You should however tame such temptation and never encourage your emotional instincts to take command over logic. Wild animals feel the best when they are left to their habitat undisturbed. Besides, there might be a possibility of disease flowing from man to the beast and the other way round. There is a chance that the mother cheetah would be somewhere around. So be cautious!
i) Fishing and angling trips are full of adventure especially trout fishing down the mountain creeks give the pleasure and thrill enough to hold you back on the spot for days. But do not over fish and clean the reservoir empty of its rich aquatic life. One important fact is to be borne in mind that you have never planted what you are harvesting today. You have never farmed the water with fish spawns, and indiscriminate fishing would go against the ethics of responsible tourism.
(j)Similarly, nonstop consumption of nature’s wealth and cultural products that a destination is famous for would leave the place dry and barren unable to offer anything substantial and authentic to the future tourists. Consumption and paying a fair price for what you are consuming is fine, but it should not be a never ending story. If you do that, you are jeopardizing the sustainability of the travel destination.
k) Folk dances, woodcrafts, locally crafted jewelry and embroidery, paintings and other forms of art pieces of a destination fascinate the tourists. These items have a creative and cultural value. It would be just great if you could attend their folk music and dances or if you buy their products. This would be a shot of encouragement and the productivity would mount. Even if you do not purchase, your words of appreciation would do enough to inspire the artist behind the creation and would certainly boost his confidence and heighten his vision.
l)If you come across a tree plantation program on your trip, gladly offer your willingness to participate. One plant sowed in soil will help cleanse the atmosphere of pollution in the future. It will help restore ecological balance that may have been threatened.
m)Whenever you are in a mood to travel around your destination select public transport, local rickshaw rides or even you can enjoy a long stroll on your foot and believe me you will have a sound sleep at night.
n)When booking your accommodation it would be just wonderful and greatly beneficial to the local economy if you select to reside in home stays. This is a brilliant concept where families rent out a portion of their residence to the tourists inclusive of food. You have a home away from home and a wonderful company to spend time with in an alien land.