My Top 5 Responsible Tourism Trends
Updated: Oct 8, 2019
Responsible Tourism Trends have certainly become popular in the travel community with the movement sparking conversations around sustainability, Eco-friendly products, plastic-free choices, waste reduction and ethical volunteering. #Responsible Tourism at it's core, is about the choices we make every day and how we choose to live.
Travel For Change has always #encouraged you to wander differently and to be creative in sharing your stories with the wider backpacking community.
I created my blog Travel For Change to discuss the #Voluntourism Industry and the reality of Orphanage Tourism in South East Asia 2017. Since then, the blog has been a space created for everyone to contribute their concerns and solutions for all kinds of volunteer concepts including animal tourism, child exploitation, the issue of plastic waste, work exchange opportunities, backpacking for a cause and community development. I've taken what I have learnt from this amazing social network and I am now sharing it with you!
My Top 5 Responsible Tourism Trends of 2017
1 Orphanage Tourism & Child Exploitation Awareness #childrenarenottouristattractions
Orphanage Tourism is something I have first-hand experience with.
I have worked in various forms of institutional care across South East Asia.
This is because I backpacked to places such as Cambodia and Thailand when I was only 20 years of age with nothing but good intentions and a lack of awareness.
Since then I have seen the orphanage business boom and take advantage of both the children and the tourists!
Remember that supporting orphanages, donating money to street children, and visiting institutions just for a day won't help anyone in the long term and without a plan, nothing positive can be achieved. The biggest challenge is helping the most vulnerable children who are at risk, in a sustainable and ethical way. There are some fantastic organisations working to manage these concerns and you can learn more about the key issues by visiting the Child Safe Network Website.
Reducing Plastic Waste #thereisnoplanetb
Have you visited a tropical island recently only to find yourself swimming in rubbish? Plastic waste? In# Bali, I was devastated to find myself and my friend's surfboard literally covered in plastic waste after a surf at one of the local beaches near Kuta; a direct result of mass tourism without a sustainable plan. Sadly, many places around the world are like this, not just in the ocean but on land. Plastic is a HUGE problem and globally it will continue to have a severely negative impact on the environment. Education is key!
So what can you do?
1 - Say No-Thanks to unnecessary plastic packaging (especially for food and drinks)
2 - Travel with a Reusable Water Bottle and a Reusable Coffee Cup
3 - Purchase a Bamboo Toothbrush and Carry Set to take with you on your trip
4 - Use a straw made from Bamboo or simply say No-Thanks
5 - Bring your own reusable bag with you to the markets/mall/laundry and refuse plastic bags
6 - Reduce your use of plastic containing and chemical based toiletries (deodorant, soap, sunscreen)
7 - Check out #refillnotlandfill in Cambodia to reduce one-time-use plastic water bottle waste!
3 Volunteering Abroad #volunteeringinsoutheastasia
Volunteering is certainly a popular trend, especially when backpackers cross through South East Asia. Thanks to community-based platforms that offer free accommodation and cultural experiences in exchange for volunteering your skills, many travellers are taking this approach at least once on their adventures.
Why? It offers an enriched experience where you will get the volunteering experience from a new perspective. I have used the #WorkAway platform for a trip to Indonesia. I never felt like I was 'working' but simply just living life with some of the kindest people I have ever met! I taught English at a local tutorial centre and in exchange, I got much more than I dreamed of.
I explored areas way out of the comfort zones of most tourist locations and learnt a lot. Whilst volunteering is a trend, it must also be taken seriously with regards to why and what you end up choosing to do with your time. What skills do you have? Are you qualified in a specialised field? Think about what you can bring to the local community and work as a team to achieve new goals.
4 Removing an Elephant Ride from your Bucket List #saynotoridinganelephant
Take Elephant Rides OFF your travel Bucket List!!! There is just so much information out there that shows the suffering that elephants go through and the harsh reality is that even if you try and justify that elephant's are working animals; this isn't what they are born to do. Riding elephants requires a level of obedience from the animal and it is this process which is heartbreaking for the elephant.
I am thrilled that so many travellers are making a choice not to ride elephants! Still dream of seeing them on your trip to Thailand? Visit one of the many rescue locations that help elderly, sick, disabled and rescued elephants.
Travelling can spark new ideas and bring about a desire to see change. As we wander and visit different places we have the opportunity to use social media to have a voice of influence. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Trip Advisor give us the chance to share our photo's, video's, opinions and recommendations across the world like never before.
You can even organise events, meet up with locals, arrange a couch surfing experience or start up your very own blog for free! One of the most exciting things about blogging is the online community you will form as part of social networking. Some of my favourite travel websites and inspirational blogs are listed below so check them out for some daily wanderlust motivation.
So that's my Travel For Change Top 5 Responsible Tourism Trends!
Comment your thoughts or questions below and share your trending topics with us.