While viewing the Responsible Travel and Wildlife Conservation Hangout, I was inspired by Martin Hatchuel‘s conversation with Nombulelo Mkefa where she said, “Sustainable travel is the destination, responsible travel is the journey.” What are the principles that embody responsible travel?
1. Respect and care for the environment whether it’s land, air, water, animal or plant life.
2. Indigenous culture should be represented in an authentic way so that it is not a commodity, but a celebration of the culture and sacred sites with respect and dignity.
3. In the case of hotels, workers should receive competitive wages, work in a safe and clean environment, and live in the local area.
4. Travelers and businesses are responsible for buying local.
Tourism in the USA has a long way to go to meeting these goals, but with innovation, discussion and action, maybe tourism can work in harmony with the environment.