Many tour and activity companies operate in destinations that rely heavily on tourism to fuel their local economy. These tour and activity operators are often looking to generate buzz about their destination in order to encourage travelers to visit their area and book their tour products. While there’s nothing wrong with raising awareness about the amazing attractions and amenities that your region has to offer, it’s important to promote and implement responsible tourism practices.
What is Responsible Tourism?
Responsible tourism is the practice of promoting your region in a way that benefits the local culture and economy. It provides visitors with an authentic experience and insight into the local area, without sacrificing the natural beauty of the destination or without taking advantage of the people who call it home. Responsible tourism practices take into account the footprint that the company has on the environment, on the local citizens and on the culture and history of the area.
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How Can You Encourage Responsible Tourism at Your Tour and Activity Company?
- Promote growth within your local economy by hiring nearby residents and using as many locally-sourced goods and supplies as possible. Most people who live in a tourist destination rely on the tourism industry for jobs, so it is important that you provide opportunities with fair pay whenever possible.
- Use energy-efficient equipment whenever possible to run your tours. You may want to consider investing in electric vehicles, rechargeable audio and visual equipment and smart technology that can reduce the energy you use within your office space.
- Encourage sustainability by inviting your guests to bring a reusable bottle filled with water versus selling bottled water to your guests. In addition to this, you should also have recycling bins available on your tour vehicles and within your office. This can prevent additional waste while promoting the importance of recycling.
- Offer intimate experiences with small groups, as this will have a less of an impact on the local environment. In addition, many of your guests will find this to be a more personable and rewarding tour experience.
- Showcase local goods and products that are unique to your destination. You may even want to partner with nearby businesses to sell those products to the travelers who book your tours. This is an easy way to add life to your local economy while at the same time enhancing the experience of the people who are visiting from afar.
- Provide accurate information about the local culture in your region, and encourage your guests to be polite and respectful at all times. Most travelers are not purposefully rude, or disrespectful. In many cases, they simply are unaware of cultural norms or traditions. You can be a valuable resource to travelers who wish to learn more about the world around them.
Tour and activity operators across the globe are going to be focusing on sustainability initiatives and responsible tourism practices in the year ahead. To stay on top of the other industry catch phrases that you need to know this year, be sure to download the Rezdy Ultimate Travel Tourism Glossary now.