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5 Ways To Be An Ethical And Responsible Tourist

ByDave Stopher

Jun 6, 2021

Traveling is always an exciting adventure. You get to educate yourself on various cultures, traditions, and places. It’s normal and even encouraged to be deeply immersed in what you see and experience in the places you head to, but you should still remember your responsibilities as a tourist at all times.

Regardless if you’re a first-time traveller or a frequent one, ethical and responsible tourism is something you need to take seriously. There should always be an effort to leave a positive impact when you go to other places, may they be local or international.

How To Be An Ethical And Responsible Tourist

Responsible tourism is defined as tourism that greatly benefits local communities while minimising negative environmental and social impacts. This means you’re also expected to help in conserving habitats of different species as well as the fragile culture of the locals.

There are many ways to be a responsible tourist. You can check out individuals like Ryan Gibbs on Instagram if you’d like to learn more about the matter. In case you’re wondering, it’s possible to explore and enjoy yourself to the fullest while traveling without causing harm of any sort. The list below should help you accomplish just that.

Book An Eco-Friendly Accommodation

It can be confusing to choose where to stay whenever you’re traveling. Even a simple search online will lead you to thousands of accommodation options. If youre prioritising ethical and responsible tourism, kick-start your advocacy by going for an eco-friendly hotel or facility.

Eco-friendly accommodations have several practices in place geared toward limiting their impact on the environment. And since they care about their surroundings, they highly encourage their guests to do the same. Some of the practices they implement include:

Reusing towels

Collecting rainwater for a variety of purposes such as flushing toilets

Using less plastic

Encouraging guests to rent bicycles when going around the area

Educating others on how to be more responsible and ethical when traveling

Before booking a hotel or lodge that claims to be eco-friendly, ask what practices they follow and choose your accommodation based on that information.

Conserve Water And Electricity

Most tourists take electricity and water consumption for granted. They tend to think that just because hotel rooms are already inclusive of water and electricity, there’s no reason for them to think about conservation. However, if you want to become a truly ethical and responsible tourist,

you must consider how much fossil fuel is burned continuously to provide electricity and how much water is used up every day in one hotel alone.

To help conserve water during your travel, take shorter showers and avoid flushing the toilet often. As for electricity, be sure to turn off all the lights before you head out to explore. Unplug all electrical appliances when not in use, and fill a glass with water for brushing your teeth instead of just letting the tap run.

Aim For Zero-Waste Travel

Zero-waste travel can be difficult to achieve, but it’s not impossible. You can start with something as simple as not printing out your travel confirmation ticket; instead, save it on your phone. This way, you’re reducing paper use.

Avoid using or bringing products in plastic packaging, including shampoo, hair conditioner, and soap. What you can do is to bring your own toiletries with reusable containers. It would be helpful to keep a checklist of travel essentials so you won’t forget anything, particularly those that can help you become an ethical and responsible tourist.

Eat Local, Buy Local

Being in a foreign city or country introduces you to a variety of local food and products. Take advantage of the opportunity and eat and buy locally as much as possible. This way, you’re not only exploring new things but, more importantly, also helping the locals keep their businesses afloat.

Buy locally made products if you’re looking for souvenirs for friends and family. This is a nice way to support the culture and traditions of the local people and their communities.

Be Respectful

Respect will always go a long way, and this couldn’t be truer when you’re traveling. Be aware of the customs and traditions of the country or city you’re visiting so you’ll be able to adapt accordingly.

Aside from respecting people, you shouldn’t forget about the creatures living in the area. Countries like New Zealand, Austria, and Germany implement strict regulations on animal protection. Educate yourself and be mindful of such rules so you won’t have a problem during your stay.


Traveling has many benefits. In particular, it can help you broaden your horizons in more ways than one. If you want to make your experience more educational and lifechanging, you can learn to incorporate ethical and responsible tourism into your local and international travels.

Start small by choosing eco-friendly accommodations. You can take additional measures as you find out more about becoming an ethical traveller. Soon, you’ll have plenty of reason to be proud of yourself for contributing to the environment while enjoying every opportunity to collect

memories and experiences.