In the framework of the International Year on Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017, UNWTO developed the Travel Enjoy Respect Campaign, which aims at raising awareness of the value and contribution that sustainable tourism can make towards development and engage all stakeholders in making the sector a catalyst for positive change.
Navigating the mighty Mekong River in a slow boat. Savouring the authentic cuisine of a street vendor in Morocco. Reflecting on life’s mysteries amid the ancient burial grounds of Angkor.
The diversity of our world unites us, and gives us the chance to explore, engage and experience the best that local culture and communities have to offer.
Respecting our world and all that makes us different and unique will enhance your travel experience.
Whether your travels take you to a tropical beach, a bustling city or a tranquil village, you will gain more from your travel experience and earn the respect of the host communities.
Following these practical steps will make your travels as rewarding and gratifying as possible for you, for the people you meet, and for the places you visit.
Honoring your hosts and our common heritage
- Research your destination to learn about local customs, traditions and social conditions. It’s a great way to build understanding of the local community and excitement for your adventure ahead.
- Learn to speak a few words in the local language. This can help you connect with the local community and its people in a more meaningful way.
- Experience and respect all that makes an international destination different and unique, from its history, architecture, religion, dress and communication codes, to its music, art and cuisine.
- Always ask before taking photographs of other people as their privacy matter as much as yours.
Protect our planet
- Reduce your environmental impact by being a guardian of natural resources, especially forests and wetlands.
- Respect wildlife and their natural habitats.
- Purchase products that aren’t made using endangered plants or animals.
- In protected areas, access only the places open to visitors.
- Reduce your water and energy consumption whenever possible.
- Leave only a minimum footprint and a good impression behind.
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.
- Hire local guides with in-depth knowledge of the area.
Be an informed traveler
- Take appropriate health and safety precautions prior 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.
- Choose tourism operators with environmental policies and community projects in place.
Be a respectful traveler
- Observe national laws and regulations.
- Respect human rights and protect children from exploitation. Abusing children is a crime.
- Refrain from giving money to begging children and support community projects instead.
- Take photos instead of protected cultural artefacts as mementos of your trip.
- Provide honest travel reviews upon your return and promote your positive experiences.
The Tips for a Responsible Traveler were developed by the World Committee on Tourism Ethics and are based on the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.
The UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism is a fundamental frame of reference for responsible and sustainable tourism.
Adopted in 1999 by the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and acknowledged by the General Assembly of the United Nations two years later, this comprehensive set of principles is designed to guide key-players in tourism development and is addressed to governments, tourism companies, destinations, local communities and tourists alike.
Although not legally binding, the Code features a voluntary implementation mechanism through its recognition of the role of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics, the impartial body responsible for interpreting, applying and evaluating the provisions of the Code.