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Our Responsible Tourism Policy

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  • Fishing Sri LankaEducate and inform visitors and local communities of the importance of preserving the areas natural resources and respect local cultures, religions and built heritage.
  • Involve the local community in activities that preserve their traditional way of life and yet offer long term economic benefit.
  • Make the Lanka Holidays experience as authentic and informative as possible local rangers of the area.
  • Restrict activities that disturb or endanger the sensitive biodiversity of the Country.
  • Promote local products and create employment in the village community.
  • Follow the rules and regulation set out by Department of Environment to protect the environment.
  • Earn respect in the local and International community by implementing a long term and sustainable ecotourism operator.

 

Responsible Travel - The top line

Responsible travel is a new way of travelling for those who've had enough of mass tourism. It's about respecting and benefiting local people and the environment – but it's about far more than that.

If you travel for relaxation, fulfilment, discovery, adventure and to learn – rather than simply to tick off 'places and things' – then responsible travel is for you.

Responsible travel suits life's curious adventurers and enthusiasts.

Flying and global warming

Most of things that we do in our lives contribute to carbon dioxide emissions and global warming.  Air travel - although currently a relatively small contributor (less than 5%) - is the fastest growing source of CO2 emissions.  We must all take action to reduce our CO2 emissions across our entire lives, and this includes accepting that we must fly significantly less than we do now.  When we do fly on holiday its even more important than our holiday is a responsible one.  For our ideas on how to be a more responsible traveller, including reducing your emissions

Getting more out of your holiday

Responsible travel is about bringing you closer to local cultures and environments by involving local people in tourism. It's about doing this in a fair way that helps ensure that they will give you an even warmer welcome. For example, a local guide from the destination will open your eyes to their cultures and ways of life far better than an expat guide could ever do – they will also earn a much needed income from you.

The responsible traveller prefers smaller groups, and to meet some local people (as well as fellow travellers) rather than be surrounded by 1000's of people from back home. They don't like being herded about in a large crowd like nameless faces and understand that travelling in smaller groups makes local people and cultures more accessible.

The responsible travellers wants to get a little bit more out of their travels, and to give a little bit back to the special places and people that they encounter. They want deeper and more real travel experiences. The responsible traveller values authenticity – experiences integral to local people's traditions, cultures and rituals - rather than those created for tourism, or those whose existing meanings and uses have become lost as they have been packaged up for tourism. No more 'Greek nights' in resorts with the only Greek people there to serve food please!

At the same time the responsible traveller understands that some cultural experiences are best kept private, and that their visit would be an intrusion. They believe that travelling with respect earns them respect. 

For a rebellious look at the serious issues check out the for getting more out of your holiday.

Rediscovering nature

Responsible travel is about re-discovering how to experience nature and to be in it, feeling it, smelling it and learning about it rather than just looking at it. Through this they replenish their souls. They would rather get out on foot than sit in a big bus, and are determined to leave no physical evidence of their visit but their footprints.

The responsible traveller understands local peoples relationship with environments, and that income from tourism can be a powerful incentive for conservation. The responsible traveller values diversity – diversity of people, cultures and environments.

They believe that they can grow as individuals through these experiences, and that their trip can make a positive contribution towards conserving global diversity.

Above all else the responsible traveller wants to cut loose and experience their world. The experienced responsible traveller knows how difficult it can be to do the right thing – and is humble and learns from their mistakes. Whether they travel independently, or through a leading responsible travel operator, the responsible traveller makes and experiences a difference.

 

Tips for responsible travel

Sri Lanka  HolidaysWhen we visit beautiful places it's natural to want our holidays to have a positive impact on local people and their environments.

Responsible travel is about more authentic holiday experiences that enable you to get a little bit more out of your travels, and give a little bit more back to destinations and local people. All holidays have positive and negative impacts locally.

Responsible travel maximises the benefits, and minimises the negative effects of tourism.

Below you can find our tips for responsible travel before you book, before you travel, whilst on holiday and when you get back...

 

Before you book your holiday - Choose a responsible operator

Ask to see the tour operator's policy for responsible tourism. Make sure it explains how they minimise environmental impacts and support the local economy.
Ask your hotel/accommodation to see if they really are eco!

Reduce your carbon emissions

We believe you should reduce the amount you fly, rather than flying the same as before and offsetting. Read more on our
Simple ways to do this -

  • Take fewer and longer holidays
  • Take some holidays closer to home
  • Travel by train and public transport where possible
  • Book direct flights avoiding transfers
  • Use public transport in destinations where possible

 

When you fly, make it count

When you do fly, make it count by booking a responsible holiday that increases benefits to    local communities and environments


before you travel:

  • Read up on local cultures and learn a few words of the local language - travelling with respect earns you respect
  • Remove all excess packaging  - waste disposal is difficult in remote places and developing countries
  • Ask your tour operator for specific tips for responsible travel in your destination
  • Ask your tour operator/hotel if there are useful gifts that you could pack for your hosts, local people or schools
  • Ask your tour operator whether there are local conservation or social projects that you could visit on your trip, and if/how you could help support them



while on holiday:

  • Buy local produce in preference to imported goods
  • Hire a local guide - you'll discover more about local culture and lives, and they will earn an income
  • Do not buy products made from endangered species, hard woods or ancient artefacts
  • Respect local cultures, traditions and holy places - if in doubt ask advice or don't visit
  • Use public transport, hire a bike or walk when convenient - its a great way to meet local people on their terms and reduce pollution and carbon emissions
  • Use water sparingly - its very precious in many countries and tourists tend to use far more than local people
  • Remember that local people have different ways of thinking and concepts of time, this just makes them different not wrong - cultivate the habit of asking questions (rather than the Western habit of knowing the answers).  For more ideas on deeper and more responsible travel see

 

when you get back: Write to your tour operator or hotel with any comments or feedback about your holiday, and especially include any suggestions on reducing environmental impacts and increasing benefits to local communities.  You will find from travellers on many responsibletravel.com holidays.

  • If you've promised to send pictures or gifts to local people remember to do so, many are promised and not all arrive!
  • Why not donate to a local project in the area you’ve visited? Take a look at for community and environmental projects around the world.
  • Enjoy the memories, reflect on your experience and start




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