At Mexicali Blues, when we wander we are filled with wonder. (We go all over the world to source our handcrafted world goods.) When we return, we welcome all travelers. (You’ll find our stores in some of Maine’s most popular tourist towns.) And we’re not alone—international travel is growing by almost 5% every year. There are millions of people experiencing the magic of travel right now, and World Tourism Day is a celebration of the positive impact of all these journeys.
This year’s theme is Sustainable Tourism, the message of which is distilled by UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai as, “Whenever you travel, wherever you travel, remember to respect nature, respect culture, and respect your host. You can be the change you want to see in the world. You can be an ambassador for a better future.”
Here are some tips for how to be a responsible traveler:
- Reduce your environmental impact by being a guardian of natural resources, especially forests and wetlands.
- Respect wildlife and their natural habitats.
- In protected areas, access only the places open to visitors.
- Leave only a minimum footprint and a good impression behind.
- Honour your hosts and our common heritage.
- Learn to speak a few words in the local language. This can help you connect with the local community in a more meaningful way.
- Always ask before taking photographs of other people as a matter of privacy.
- To protect our planet, purchase products that aren’t made using endangered plants or animals.
- Reduce your water and energy consumption when possible.
- To support the local economy, buy locally-made handcrafts and products. Respect livelihoods of local vendors and artisans by paying a fair price.
- Do not buy counterfeit products or items that are prohibited by national/ international regulations.
- Take appropriate health and safety precautions prior to and during your trip. Know how to access medical care or contact your embassy in case of an emergency.
- Research well before engaging into voluntourism.
- Observe national laws and regulations. Respect human rights and protect children from exploitation.
- Refrain from giving money to begging children and support community projects instead.
World Tourism Day calls attention to the many ways travel can change our lives and lift up communities. Tourism supports and strengthens local economies, preserves historically and environmentally significant places and artifacts, promotes political equality and social justice, opens minds, forges connections, builds empathy and boosts creativity.
Planning your next trip? Check out World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)‘s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism here: http://ow.ly/YkvJ304Cw6C to see how you can make your travel even more respectful, impactful and meaningful. And as the leaf-peepers come pouring into Maine, remember how much more colorful and vibrant travelers have made our state. Tourism can take us all to amazing places!
The post HAPPY WORLD TOURISM DAY! MAKE YOUR TRAVELS A FORCE FOR GOOD! appeared first on Mexicali Blues Blog.