What is ethical travel?
At its simplest, ethical travel is a way of making sure that the place you visit benefits from your presence. Tourism is one of the world's larget industries, and makes up 10% of the global GDP. One out of every ten jobs on the planet is in the tourism and travel sector, so the way that we travel is incredibly important.
Travel should be a way of putting money back into the communities that we visit. Done right, tourism can enable places to build better infrastructure, support community initiatives and preserve local ecosystems. Ethical, reponsible and sustainable travel are all terms used to desribe a form of tourism that benefits the destination in question.
Overtourism, degradation of fragile ecosystems, pressure on overstretched infrastructure and distressed locals are all consquences of ignoring the principles of responsible travel.
Why should you travel responsibly?
Imagine a world where we're all respectful of the places and people that we meet. Think about how much nicer the planet would be if we were all a little kinder. That's what ethical travel is all about. It's a way of learning about local communities and cultures and supporting those people in ways that they choose to be supported.
Think about all the plastic that's filling the oceans, the animal species that are becoming extinct, and the people who aren't able to support themselves and their families. If we're all a little more mindful of our actions then we can ensure that we're not adding to these problems.
Being a responsible traveller often requires a bit of research, and may not always be the easy option. It's always the better choice though. It's the only way to guarantee that the incredible places we visit will survive long after we're gone.