Manners & Misdemeanors

Travel Etiquette Rules According to the United Nations

There's no excuse: As a traveler, you should always remember to respect nature, respect culture, and respect your host.
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The United Nations’ World Tourism Organization has unveiled its newest campaign, “Travel. Enjoy. Respect.” and along with it, a guide on tourism etiquette. Not only will the campaign spread awareness among responsible travelers but it’s also a bid for sustainable tourism, engaging tourists to be catalysts for positive change.

In a statement, UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai said the campaign can be summarized as, “Whenever you travel, wherever you travel, remember to respect nature, respect culture, and respect your host,” he said. “You can be the change you want to see in the world. You can be an ambassador for a better future. Travel, enjoy, and respect.”

Both the campaign and its accompanying manual will be released in multiple languages through various outlets around the world. The Tips for a Responsible Traveler, developed by the World Committee on Tourism Ethics, will provide travelers with the necessary recommendations to aid them in making responsible decisions while traveling and leaving a positive impact on the destinations they visit.

Here are useful excerpts from Tips for a Responsible Traveler:

HONOR 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 an 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.

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Always ask before taking photographs of other people as their privacy matters as much as yours.

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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.

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SUPPORT THE LOCAL ECONOMY

Buy locally made handicrafts 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.

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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.

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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 artifacts as mementos of your trip.

Provide honest travel reviews upon your return and promote your positive experiences.

h/t: Inquirer

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Paolo Chua
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