To enjoy your visit abroad, whilst reducing the environmental and social pressures that tourism can bring, a better understanding of local cultures and traditions will be more rewarding for your holiday.
Before You Go
- Read a good guide book or browse the Internet to find out more about your destination.
- Try to learn a few words of the local language, especially greetings. Local people will appreciate and respect your efforts.
- If you are thinking of taking tours, ask your tour operator for local information.
AccommodationConserve local resources in your hotel, lodge or camp by:
- Turning down/ off heater or air conditioner when not required.
- Switching off lights when leaving a room and turning the television off rather than leaving it on standby.
- Informing staff you are happy to re-use towels and bed linen rather than replacing them daily.
- Using water sparingly - a shower typically uses a third of the amount of a bath (although power showers are almost the same).
- Complying with any environmental initiatives your hotel operates.
By the Sea
- Beach rubbish is unsightly and can be dangerous to sea creatures. Some rubbish, such as plastic containers, takes many years to biodegrade. Please help prevent these fragile environments from being polluted further by taking your rubbish home. Avoid plastics.
- Leave pebbles, rocks and sea weed on the beach for others to enjoy. If you collect seashells please check it is not prohibited, ensure they are empty and take just a few.
In the water
- When diving or swimming, avoid kicking up sand or stepping on coral, as it suffocates and kills coral polyps.
- Spear fishing is best left to those who need fish to eat, rather than an exotic form of trophy hunting.
- Remember to watch out for wildlife and avoid wildfowl and fish breeding areas during breeding seasons. Respect wildlife and marine reserves.
- Limit your speed while using jet skis and speedboats as river banks can be damaged from excessive wash.
- Avoid polluting waterways with waste food, litter, oil or any other material.
- If you do move rocks or sea weed carefully lift and replace them - there may be creatures underneath which need them for shelter.
- Coral is extremely fragile and takes centuries to grow. Please don't remove any coral or cause any damage to this or any other living organism.
Safaris and Nature Trials
- Ask permission before entering indigenous people territories, and pay properly for their service or their handicrafts.
- Follow expert advice and heed safety warnings.
- Please keep to designated tracks, or ask your driver to, especially in National Parks and Reserves. Off road driving can injure animals concealed in bushes or grass and interferes with heir hunting. It also causes extensive damage to grass and woodland habitats.
- The animals you came to see are easily scared. So avoid bright colours and making noise. Encourage your driver to stop the vehicle engine when stationary.
Wherever you go
- Stay on approved footpaths while walking, marked routes while skiing, climbing or trekking and roads when driving.
- Don't contaminate local rivers, streams or springs by using pollutants such as detergents.
- Fire is a serious hazard. Be extremely careful with cigarettes and matches and take your cigarettes stubs with you.
- Leave no litter. As well as being unattractive, it can take many years to bio degrade and have serious consequences on wildlife. Take your litter and dispose it properly elsewhere.
- Protect wildlife and flora. Please don't pick flowers or pull plants.
Ethical shopping list
- Trade in many animals, plants and products made from them are controlled internationally to safeguard wild and endangered species.
- International trade prohibits the purchase of over 800 species and materials including: ivory, spotted cat, fur, rhino horn, whales, sea turtles, many corals, reptiles, orchids and cacti. Check what your souvenirs are made from.
- Exotic souvenirs can threaten the most endangered species. Be careful if buying traditional Chinese medicines as these can contain products from tigers, rhinos and other protected species and are illegal to import.
- The purchase of cat fur is ill advised as few are traded legally.
- Resist buying or collecting souvenirs from reefs such as coral, shells and star fish. In many areas this is prohibited, in some cases it is illegal or can only be bought with license. It contributes to the degradation of the reefs and marine life.