- Responsible tourism benefits the local community
While profits from mass tourism mainly flow back to international companies, responsible tourism benefits the local community through a very high local value added. Those who are directly involved get fair remuneration, while those who are not directly involved benefit through the improvements within the community such as higher hygiene standards, construction of communal facilities etc. through the community fund.
- Responsible tourism empowers the local people
Involvement of the local people in decision-making is crucial to empower the community. The local people are free to decide if and how they want to allow tourism in their village. Through the implementation of participatory democracy principles, each person has a voice and the right to decide about how tourism affects their own life. It additionally boosts the awareness of self-determination.
- Responsible tourism helps preserve the culture
Through the interest of a responsible traveller in local culture and customs, the community is inspired to keep them alive. Local people learn about the importance and uniqueness of their cultural heritage and are motivated to preserve it. Passing on the traditional knowledge to the next generation is seen to be very important.
- Responsible tourism helps conserve the environment
Every traveller leaves an environmental impact, which is a fact. Everyone has a responsibility to reduce their individual carbon footprint, and there are many ways to do so. Besides doing so, carrying reusable water bottles, avoiding plastic bags, walking instead of driving whenever possible and respecting the natural resources are other ways to keep that impact low. But how does responsible tourism help conserve the environment? The stunning landscape attracts responsible travellers. They come into close contact with nature through hiking, cycling tours and canoeing. This confrontation may raise the awareness of the value of nature for travellers and the community and may lead to environmentally conscious behaviour and activities to preserve the environment.
- Responsible tourism provides jobs for locals, including young and women
Responsible tourism focuses on local structures. By buying local food, handicraft and using small shops for their daily goods the responsible traveller supports the local community. Local guides, translators, drivers and cooks not only share their culture and expertise with the responsible traveller but also earn a fair income, which they re-invest in the local economy. The young are motivated to improve their English skills to get a job and stay in their village. Women are empowered through the possibility to offer their house as a homestay, are experts in local cuisine and know traditional handicraft, which makes them proud and more independent.
- Responsible tourism connects people and fosters cross-cultural learning
The intensive encounter of responsible travellers and the local community gives a great opportunity to experience and learn about the local life. Hands-on activities lead to appreciation of the daily work like rice harvesting, traditional fishing or tea picking. In exchange, responsible travellers can bring in their qualifications, be it English skills, knowledge in business development, technical or other skills. Volunteering can also be an important and inspiring way to give back, rather than simply take.
- Responsible tourism experiences are unique
Helping with the exhausting rice harvest and the processing, for example, provides a unique and deep insight into the daily life of many local people. Furthermore, some nights in a typical homestay can be a good chance to exchange about culture, politics, lifestyle and family. This experience is likely to change the responsible traveller’s mind. It is authentic and not substitutable and raises the traveller’s sensitivity to the host culture.