Sustainable Tourism Pledge
 

  • Sustainable Travel Tips

    1. Know the History Before you travel, read up on the
      history and culture of your destination. Use the internet to get leads
      on local specialties and off-the-beaten-path sites from locals and other
      travelers. Learn a few basic phrases in your destination’s local
      language.
    2. Reduce Your (Carbon) Footprint Walking, biking, and
      trekking or exploring one place in-depth is a good way to reduce your
      carbon footprint. At urban destinations, walk or take public transit
      whenever possible. You’ll see more and avoid getting stuck in rush-hour
      traffic!
    3. Be Eco-Friendly Conservation should always be on a
      traveler’s mind: whatever helps the environment, such as recycling or
      staying in an eco-friendly hotel, also protects heritage.
    4. Respect the Local Culture Show respect for and
      interest in the local culture. At sacred sites, dress modestly, speak
      softly, and be mindful of people who are there to worship. Seek out
      local celebrations and festivals – they can provide a unique glimpse
      into local culture and are a fun way to meet locals, sample traditional
      foods, and learn about your destination’s heritage.
    5. Go Off the Beaten Path Visit lesser-known
      places—they may be far more rewarding (not to mention less crowded) than
      tourist hotspots. The Taj Mahal may be a must-see, but India has more
      than 25 other spectacular World Heritage Sites.
    6. Be Gentle in Your Travel Be mindful of visitor wear
      and tear. Visiting crowded sites at off-peak hours or popular
      destinations in the off-season will reduce your impact. Stick to marked
      paths. Wear comfortable footwear such as sneakers; heels can damage
      fragile sites. Don’t climb on monuments or touch rock carvings, as it
      can damage them.
    7. Don’t Be Flashy with Photos Take only photographs,
      and make sure that a flash is permitted because a flash can damage
      centuries-old artwork. Be aware of local traditions when photographing
      people and when in doubt, ask permission before snapping a picture.
      Never remove anything from a site: you may think one stone won’t be
      missed, but if every one of Pompeii’s two million annual visitors took
      something home, soon there’d be nothing left.
    8. Buy Local Support the local economy by buying
      crafts from local artisans as souvenirs. Be wary of “antiquities” as
      these could be looted or forgeries. Patronize smaller hotels and local
      restaurants—that way the money you spend boosts the local economy and
      helps preserve heritage.
    9. Join the Cause Help threatened sites, either
      through donations to organizations like World Monuments Fund or by
      volunteering—either in your community or on a “voluntourism” trip. There
      are many opportunities to combine travel and volunteerism, and ways to
      help range from building houses to participating in archeological digs.
    10. Educate Tell friends and family about responsible
      heritage tourism. Raise awareness by sharing your experiences on social
      media sites like Facebook and Flickr, or your own travel blog. Start a
      global conservation conversation!

    Download these guidelines and take them along on your next trip!