6 ways to be a more respectful tourist

6 ways to be a more respectful tourist
Six unwritten rules for respectful sightseeing the world over.

MiNDFOOD offers up a few simple, yet often forgotten, travel tips for respectful holidaying that will see you enjoy your stay that much more.

Know the culture

Researching your destination is probably the first thing to check off your list when preparing to visit a foreign country. Knowing the culture and language will not only make for a more enriched experience, but in the process you become familiar with culture-specific norms. Such as knowing to take off your shoes before entering a Maori marae meeting house in New Zealand.

Be selfie-smart

Smartphones and social media practices dictate that your holiday must be broadcast to the world. But sometimes not everyone wants to be a part of your social feed. It’s a good idea to ask before taking pictures, especially of heritage sites and indigenous people.

Go green

Many countries, including the likes of Australia and New Zealand, have in place environmental programmes that ensure tourism sustainability practices. It’s important to abide by these. Travellers are also encouraged to sign the Monuments Fund Pledge, committing to responsible tourism through actions such as conserving natural resources, visiting lesser-known attractions, reducing your carbon footprint by using public transport and so on.

Money matters

Support local communities by immersing yourself and contributing as much as you can to the local economy. Remember that your tourism dollars are a local’s livelihood. So support local businesses, visit and buy from local artists and artisans, and share your experiences with them.

Get vaccinated

Protect yourself and others by making sure you are up to date with necessary vaccines before you travel. Check with your doctor whether any vaccinations are needed for the places you are travelling to.

Many destinations still won’t let you travel there without a COVID-19 vaccination, or you might find yourself unable to access the venues that can make a holiday special like museums, galleries, restaurants, bars and nightclubs without proof of vaccination. Even if there are no such restrictions in place, it should go without saying that a COVID vaccination is essential for respectful travel amid a pandemic.

Be friendly and polite

Don’t forget your manners. Say ‘hello’, smile and attempt to make local friends. Enjoy your travel knowing that you are, even if temporarily, a positive member of the local community.



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