Responsible tourism aims at increasing the positive impact of travel by enabling mutually enriching experiences between tourists and the environments, people and cultures they visit. It seeks to reduce the harmful impact of mass tourism on local communities and ecosystems by creating awareness about the delicate balance between man and nature in those regions.
Responsible tourism attempts to bring about beneficial action towards protecting the local ecology and using resources responsibly for the benefit of present and future generations.
Responsible tourism encourages interactions with the communities one encounters, with a view to understanding the commonalities that unite people and cultures while appreciating the differences that give us this rich diversity.
For Kipepeo, responsible tourism is the medium through which we strive to build bridges between resources and needs, leisure and livelihoods, visitors and hosts, in ways that are sustainable and beneficial to all.
We follow a multi faceted approach for developing a sustainable tourism model
- Primarily using home-stays or community run lodges for accommodating our visitors.
- Using local staff as guides, cooks and porters on all our treks and adventure expeditions.
- Buying local produce & using locally available renewable resources.
- Provide training to local people for tourism-related activities like guides, cooks, etc and assisting locals in setting up homestays.
- Educating and sensitizing all our visitors to the cultural practices of the region.
- Working in locations which are relatively cutout and unknown, so as to provide alternative livelihoods to the local communities.
With this approach we hope to bring about economic and social benefits to the local communities, while actively involving them in preserving their culture and conserving their environment.
Some Useful Tips
How does all of this translate into concrete action? As responsible tourists, each one of us can reduce the negative impact of our travel and help local communities in simple ways:
- Take the time to find out about the communities you are visiting and a little about their way of life, their culture and customs.
- Dress appropriately so as not to offend local sensibilities.
- Interact with the local communities by trying their cuisine, learning some words from their language and exchanging their views on life.
- Use a single water bottle that you can refill from a safe source instead of several bottles of packaged drinking water.
- Dispose off litter in designated places. Carry back plastic waste, worn out batteries etc as much as possible to larger cities that have safer systems to manage such waste.
- Explore places that are not necessarily part of the regular tourist route.