Top Tips for Being a Responsible Tourist

Embarking on a journey is not just about exploring new places; it’s about making a positive impact on the communities you encounter. Responsible tourism is the key to leaving a destination better than you found it. If you are wondering what is the difference between Sustainable and Responsible the main difference between sustainable and responsible tourism is accountability. Sustainable tourism is about holding organisations accountable for reducing their impact on the environment. Responsible tourism puts the responsibility onto both companies and individuals to learn and reduce their impact on both the environment and communities they visit. Do you want to be a responsible tourist?
Women hiking through a lava frield in Iceland
Here are our top tips on how to be a responsible tourist to form the foundation of your responsible tourism and set you on the path of being a conscientious traveller and having a positive impact where you visit:

1. Respect People:

Before you even set foot in a new place, take the time to understand and respect the local culture, laws, and customs. Engage with the community, learn from its members, and foster mutual understanding. Remember, being a responsible tourist starts with respecting the people who call your destination home. Be an advocate for human rights during your travels. Support local organisations that prioritise community welfare, and resist the urge to give money directly to children begging on the streets. Your support can have a more significant and sustainable impact when directed towards organisations working to uplift the community.

2. Spend Locally:

Put your money where it matters most – in the local economy. Opt for local businesses, whether it’s dining in neighbourhood restaurants, buying handmade crafts, or supporting community enterprises. Your spending choices directly contribute to the well-being of the community and help sustain its unique identity.

3. Do a Little Research:

Knowledge is your greatest ally in responsible tourism. Before you travel, invest time in learning about the destination. Avoid tourist traps by discovering hidden gems that truly benefit the local community. Responsible tourism involves making informed choices that positively impact both the environment and the people.

4. Take Only Photos… with Permission:

Capture memories responsibly by seeking permission before snapping photos, especially from residents. Respect people’s privacy and cultural sensitivities. A simple question or gesture can go a long way in ensuring your photography leaves a positive impression. For further insights and the latest research on responsible tourism, explore the resources provided by the UN World Travel Organisation. We also recommend that when you are visiting us in Iceland you take the Visit Iceland Icelandic Pledge. If you would like to know more about responsible tourism in Iceland check out our journal posts or send us an email to join our mailing list. Travelling responsibly is not just a choice; it’s a commitment to leaving a positive mark on the places you visit. Let your wanderlust be a force for good in the world. To learn about how The Grumpy Whale promotes and engages in responsible travel please read about our Sustainability.

If you have any questions or want Iceland travel advice please get in touch.