Responsible Tourism has never been as important and relevant as it is today. The challenge is to maintain the fine balance between rewarding holiday experiences and, at the same time empowering local communities to improve quality of life and to conserve their environment so that future generations can also enjoy the same life-changing adventures as we have experienced.
Each one of us has a responsibility towards making such positive economic, social, cultural, and environmental impact. And, we at The Active Holiday Company take our responsibility seriously - one that doesn’t end with walking and cycling leaving a lighter carbon footprint!
We believe that the 'how' of travel is at the heart of change and we encourage travel that allows you to get in touch with the grass-roots. When we choose accommodations that are family run and encourage you to fill yourself at the local eateries you are becoming part of that channel that infuses back into the local economic cycle empowering those at the bottom of the pyramid to sustain their livelihood. Plus, you are not just supporting the local economy but you are also face to face with the rich and true culture of the destination. And we believe, that is what travel should be about.
Right from our business model, to the choice of our partners all the way to what we promote, Responsible Tourism is at the heart of every business decision. We encourage you to join our revolution by following these 10 simple recommendations.
- Value your business and choose service providers who support 'local', even if they think 'global'.
- Flying has the worst impact, walking has the least - make responsible choices on travel styles that leave minimal carbon footprint. We are all for public transport, cycling and even car-pooling!
- Be it plastic usage, water usage, recycling towels, energy consumption, re-chargeable batteries - reduce, recycle and reuse should be your mantra when travelling.
- Some awareness of local history, culture and customs of the locals can help enrich your experience and guide you to becoming sensitive towards local practises.
- Act local - buy in street markets or shops instead of malls. When you eat at the local run restaurant (instead of a branded chain of restaurants) - you experience local culture and play your part in preserving traditional cuisine by creating a demand for it.
- Do not give gifts and things to local children or beggars. The right way to donate is through local schools or organisations that can ensure fair distribution to those who need it.
- Do not support sale of anything that includes endangered species be it food, souvenirs or even products. Displacing any fauna / flora from their natural environment impacts a fragile ecosystems and is illegal almost everywhere.
- Travel with what you will need and at the end of a trip gives away your unused stock to the locals if you don't need to reuse it in future. It's far better than throwing things away.
- Travel e-SMART - forget about paper - unless you have no choice. Replace postcards with emails, photographs with pictures with Facebook and ask for invoices to be emailed instead of printed.
- Come back and spread the word - share your experiences through reviews and recommendations that will encourage and support local artisans, eateries, crafts etc. so these are popularised. Supporting ethnic communities is vital to preserving tourism.