Responsible tourism is all about making good choices.
retreat|recreate strives to offer programs which have a low impact, or rather a positive impact on the destinations we visit. Our mission is to ensure that our travellers have an incredible and insightful trip while also being considerate and respectful of the local environment, culture, community and economy.
How can you be a responsible traveller?
- Try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead. Travel filter bottles are effective, lightweight and don’t add to landfill. eg. https://grayl.com/ and https://www.fill2purefilters.com.au/
- Say ‘no’ to plastic bags. A retreat|recreate cloth shopping tote will be provided to all retreat|recreate travellers on day 1 of our tours.
- Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
- Be an animal-friendly traveller. Only go to venues that respect animals by allowing them to live normally in their natural environment. Steer clear of venues that use animals for entertainment or abnormal activities and/or keep animals in poor and unnatural conditions.
- Purchase carbon offsets with organisations such as www.ecologi.com or https://sustainabletravel.org/our-work/carbon-offsets/ to compensate for the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from your flight. By being responsible for your carbon emissions you also provide jobs for local families, restore wildlife habitats and contribute to a sustainable future.
- Measures such as booking non-stop flights (where possible) and packing light can also help to reduce your carbon footprint. Read more at: https://sustainabletravel.org/how-to-reduce-travel-carbon-footprint/
Culture and Community
- Always be respectful of local customs, traditions, religion and culture. Do some pre-tour research to learn about local etiquette, culture, dress standards, and language. Each retreat|recreate traveller is provided with comprehensive pre-departure, destination-specific notes in preparation for each of our tours.
- Always ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children. If you’re ever in doubt about whether it’s appropriate to take a photo, desist.
- Dress modestly and respectfully. In many of the countries we visit, shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship. While travelling, take a look around you and see what the locals (not other tourists) are wearing, noting that the dress code may differ between cities (some are more conservative than others) and also between urban and rural locations.
- When bargaining, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It’s meant to be fun! At venues where prices are fixed, don’t bargain.
- Learn a few words of the local language and engage with the people around you. Prior to departure retreat|recreate provides our travellers with a short list of useful words and phrases you may wish to learn as a courtesy to the locals.
- Eat at local and family-owned restaurants. At a number of our tour destinations we eat at restaurants operated by organisations that provide vocational training and employment to marginalised and disadvantaged youth.
- Stay at home-stay or community-operated accommodation where possible. Proceeds from your stay remain with the community and help to improve the living conditions, opportunities, education and quality of life for the local people. You won’t necessarily find these community-based tourism experiences in a guide book, but retreat|recreate endeavours to incorporate these authentic, insightful and beneficial (to both the community and visitor) experiences into our itineraries wherever possible.
- Buy from regional artists and support social enterprises and handcraft co-ops so you can contribute directly to locals and their economy. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive. The handcraft workshops included in retreat|recreate tours are taught by local artisans and masters (not by visiting westerners).
- When on community/village visits or homestays, refrain from giving money to locals. Do not give money to beggars or children. Our local guides will always be able to provide further guidance on this sensitive issue.