Let’s respect cultural differences
Traditions, customs and values of the place we are visiting may be different from our own. By taking the necessary time and showing interest in learning how to behave in an appropriate and non-offensive way to local customs our experience will be enriched. Let’s be tolerant and respect cultural diversity.
Let’s show respect and not offend the population
In some countries, especially in Asia, it is very important not to offend anyone and recognize the importance of the dignity of each. Therefore, even if we have to argue, we should never raise our voice, shout or show anger aggressively. The best way to solve an argument is cordially, politely, patiently and smiling.
Let’s wear respectful clothes
We need to be informed about the local customs regarding clothing, especially for women in Muslim and Asian countries, and respect them. We have to be dressed properly when visiting temples, mosques and other places of worship.
We need to keep always a friendly, smiling and calm attitude. Our trip can be a success thanks to our smiles.
Let’s learn some sentences in the local language
Knowing how to say ‘hello’, ‘thank you’ or ‘please’ in the local language helps to interact with the local population, who will greatly appreciate our efforts and will teach us everything we want to learn.
Let’s support local businesses
Let’s consume in local shops and businesses and eat at family restaurants, instead of using large international retail chains. We will experience more directly the local culture and we will support the population and their entrepreneurial spirit.
Let’s support the local artisans
Many communities locally sell crafts made by artisans in the community. We need to be informed or ask our guide about local markets, fair trade shops, cooperatives, etc … And buy our gifts there. Our trip can contribute to economic and social development. Let’s respect the principles of fair trade.
Let’s respect the cultural heritage
The architectural and cultural heritage is a very fragile good. We have to respect the signs and rules in each place we visit. A piece of heritage is NOT a souvenir, it is a crime.
Let’s respect nature and wild life
Let’s help to preserve the natural environment. We have to protect the wild flora and fauna and its habitat, and we should not buy products made from protected plants or animals that are protected or coming from illegal hunting. We should not eat meat from wild animals. We need to respect the integrity of wild animals and not feed them nor touch them.
Let’s protect marine ecosystems
Let’s use biodegradable soap and shampoo. If we snorkel, we need to wear a T-shirt instead of using sunscreen, because the chemicals damage the reefs.
Let’s follow the marked trails and paths
We need to keep our steps within the marked trails when we make an excursion into the countryside or the mountains. Getting out of the way causes erosion and degradation of the ecosystems and in some countries it can be very dangerous.
Do not throw trash in the street and reduce our waste
If we worry about how we manage our waste we can be a good example to follow in some of the countries we visit. Let’s try to avoid products with an excessive package and let’s bring back to our country what cannot be recycled there, like batteries. We have to reduce to the maximum our ecological footprint. We have to use resources such as water and energy moderately.
Take pictures in a respectful way
We always have to ask for permission when we take photographs to people and we need to respect their decisions. If they give us their permission, we can offer to send them a copy of the picture and truly do it. If they ask money in exchange, offer food or some souvenir of our own country, but never give money so we do not promote beggary.
Don’t give money to children
Don’t give money to children who are begging in the streets and don’t buy stuff to children who work as street vendors. Parents often send their children to beg or sell in the streets, because they get more money than the parents themselves. It’s not recommendable either to offer them candies, sweets or presents, because sugar doesn’t contribute anything to their diet, it provokes caries and, what is more, means motivating beggary. However, we can educate and show them that travelers aren’t a walking present.
Let’s protect childhood and human rights
We need to defend the rights of children and impede sexual exploitation, pornography, and tourism associated with abuses and sexual practices with minors. Any form of exploitation damages the fundamental goals of tourism.
Follow the law
We have to be informed about the current legislation in order not to commit any act considered as criminal in the visited country. We must not traffic with drugs, arms, antiques, and protected species nor with dangerous products or substances forbidden by the national regulations.
Let’s learn every day
We have to reflect every day about our experiences to deepen in their understanding. We have to cultivate the habit of listening, observing and empathizing with the population and the environment. Let’s accept that other people can have time concepts and thought patterns different than ours. We need to travel with the spirit of humility and the desire to know and learn from the people and the place we are visiting.
If you want to add something else to our code of conduct for responsible travelling, please contact Focus On Women. Bon Voyage!