No footprint… “hands on” responsible travel
In our community, we’d like to encourage travellers to approach places they visit with greater understanding and respect towards the local people, culture, wildlife and the environment. You, the traveller, are part of the impacts of tourism in a country. So you need to be aware of the issues faced in the place you are visiting, and to think about your own “footprint”.
Please find below some suggestions:
Conduct a little bit of research on the area you wish to visit beforehand. Read about the culture and history of the people, learn to say “thank you”, find out about any environemtal, social or political issues you should be aware of (for example, is there a problem with water, any particular local customs you should be aware of?).
Ask your holiday provider, accommodation owner, sailing agency or diving centre about their environmental and social policies (for example, any recycling or conservation programs; do they employ locals; e.t.c.). Support those who have a policy and implement it. Please keep in mind that the more people ask, the more they will influence holiday providers as they wish to meet people’s wishes.
Be economical with your water and electricity consumption as it’s a major problem in Greece. Don’t have long showers! Don’t let the tab running when, for example, you’re brushing your teeth. If your hotel has a swimming pool, ask whether they have a policy in order not to add to the water shortage problem (do they use salt water; do they desalinate sea water;)
Respect local customs and culture. For example, don’t wear a mini skirt to visit an Orthodox temple, they won’t find it sexy! Or don’t ridicule a local’s behaviour and customs even if they look funny to you. Behave to the locals as you would like a foreign visitor to behave in your country.
Prefer to stay in smaller, family run rooms or hotels owned by locals and not huge global chains of hotels and resorts. They are identical all around the world anyway and you won’t experience the local character of the area.
Prefer to eat at local taverns and avoid food chains. Check where and what the local people eat. It’s common in Greece not to use a menu but either go inside the kitchen to check the daily dishes or ask the owner for recommendations.
Socially responsible, informed and environmentally sensitive travellers that adopt behaviours such as the above have the chance to minimise the negative impact of tourism, contribute to the sustainability of the area they visit and influnce local businessmen and holiday providers towards a more sustainable model of touristic development. You can be part of that!
It’s not enough booking an ecotour!
Be aware! You may feel that your responsibility ends by choosing an ecotouristic holiday. If though you become offensive to local people, use masses of water for long showers, litter the beach or area you visit, buy souvenirs made from endangered species or eat at big restaurant chains and spend no money on the local community… then immediately your holiday is no longer responsible.
Avoid the herd and enjoy the benefits
Before closing I’d like to tell you here a few words about the benefits of travelling out-of-season. From our experience travelling out-of-season is preferable and more enjoyable for the following reasons:
Nature is able to deal with the impact of tourism much more efficiently when it’s more evenly distributed throughout the year.
If you are planning to travel to Greece (or anywhere else in the world!), and if your obligations allow you, choose to travel out-of-season!
Read more about us and our philosophy!
Check our original responsible walking holidays in Greece!