Manifesto of responsible and sustainable tourism

Travel is the opportunity that privileged people have to know about the world around them. There are indeed many people in the world who don’t have this opportunity because they are born and they live in countries with economic and social problems, or countries with a passport far less strong than ours (in my case the European one). The concept and the idea of traveling, discovering new lands, visiting them for leisure, is typical of the West, just think of the story of great explorers.

However, a trip should serve to make reflections, to learn, and to improve ourselves, to open our minds without any preconceptions. Quality travel and tourism, the good one, should be if not an exchange of knowledge or cultures at least an opportunity for the traveler to know the reality of the small part of the world you are visiting.

It is for these reasons that the journey changes people or at least reaches them and makes them see the world with new eyes.

You will be able to see beautiful places that will leave you breathless, but the most special thing when traveling, especially if you are traveling alone is meeting with local people. The appearance that makes such a trip truly distinctive from a vacation is not only the time span that is accomplished, but above all the approach, the desire to get in touch with the people of that place, to mix with them to the point of not feeling foreigner in a foreign land, a simpler observer, but be part, in some way and as far as possible of that place. Try to understand the culture, the uses and the customs, perhaps not always by sharing them and appreciating them but respecting them anyway.

Traveling is my greatest passion, but it is a passion that unfortunately, inevitably, has an impact on the environment, and that can jeopardize the natural and cultural balance of a place. That is why it is extremely important to reduce its impact and to act in the best way. Let us not forget that as well as the consumer in spending is able to influence the rules of the food market and change it so too, the traveler or tourist has the ability to obviously change the rules of tourism. How did Patti Smith sing in a famous song: “People have the power”.

  1. Do not take internal flights if not strictly necessary. It is very likely that for a distant meta you have already taken a plane and therefore to reduce as much as possible the environmental impact it is better to move by land, this will not only help the environment but will allow you to feel and live distances more.

  2. Always keep an eye on the environment in which you are traveling. For example, in the desert or in arid areas, try to waste as little water as possible, a gesture that should be followed in everyday life wherever you are, but more importantly in fragile places with precarious resources. A gesture of respect not only for the ecosystem and the environment but also for the local populations who perhaps walk several kilometers per day to get some water.

  3. Trust in local agencies or if you are booking a tour with an agency or tour operator make sure the people in the place are involved.

  4. Stay, eat, and buy local food in local and non-foreign establishments is the best way to help and support populations.

  5. Do not contribute to the exploitation and abuse of human rights.

  6. Do not visit zoos or “reserves” of animals specially created for tourists. Often, behind these structures, are concealed exploitation and ill-treatment of all kinds.

  7. Never give money to children. Children in poor countries certainly need help, but the best way to do this is to give them clothes or food. You can not know if these children are exploiting a child, and if children can benefit from that offer or be victims of other dynamics.

  8. If you want to help the children do not give them candy and sweets, but rather than fruit, bread, clothes, colored pencils, notebooks. They are not used to our food and we can do him more harm than good.

  9. If you want to help local people, help mothers by buying them handicrafts that seek to sell and buy them from the markets or supermarkets directly from the needy goods they need.

  10. If you want to capture portraits, or in any case of people close or in special circumstances, it is always better to ask permission. In some cultures, for example, when you are photographed, your soul is robbed.