Why responsible travel?
The question isn’t as simple as… Why responsible tourism? It also encompasses... Why responsible international exchange programs?
The natural, socio-cultural, economic, and political contexts of all the countries, cities, and towns — which participate in any of the programs that Connecting Worlds organises — remain at the forefront of all important decisions made. This means that each program on offer respects the local context within which it takes place. When our international volunteers arrive to their program destinations, they will see how the needs of the local communities are placed at the top of the list, and how the actions of everyone involved with the programs have positive effects on those local communities.
Our programs are designed to generate intercultural understanding and tolerance. They’re designed to counteract the negative impacts of commercial tourism, which sweeps the needs and wishes of local communities to the side — exploiting the financial gains of the tourist industry and leaving local communities with a negative impression of foreigners and foreign cultures.
Responsible tourism — and responsible international exchange programs — relates to travelers and/or visitors who are highly conscious of their surroundings. These people do their part to preserve nature’s wonders and cultural traditions, whilst still having a good time along the way.
Please read our article about: What does it mean to be a Responsible Tourist?
The principles related to responsible tourism are as follows:
Practicing Responsible Tourism helps towards:
Whenever we fly we add to the world’s carbon footprint. When choosing to fly to then give back in some way to the foreign community you’re visiting, you’re doing something positive for the world’s development to counteract the effects on the environment caused by your flight.
Why not speak with the Connecting Worlds team directly about a volunteer project you would be interested in launching in Latin America or Asia. There are lots of online sites which focus on generating the funds needed to run community projects through donations. We can support you in the creation of such a project in the destination of your choice.
Through the practice of responsible tourism, the host community participates in the development of tourism in its own area. Using knowledge handed down to them from their ancestors, local communities get the chance to show foreign visitors how to enhance and care for the natural environment.
International visitors benefit greatly from a more responsible style of travel and/or exchange. They get the chance to really connect with the places that they visit. Many of them remain in contact with their hosts after their program comes to an end. The sense of “community spirit” generated through our programs does nothing but good for everyone involved.
The programs that Connecting Worlds offers give international visitors the chance to directly contribute towards the economic sustainability of long-term projects in various destinations across Asia and Latin America. With your help, Connecting Worlds can help build the infrastructure needed to generate more local jobs, and real organisations which offer enjoyable, sustainable livelihoods.
The Connecting Worlds T-shirts are a prime example of one such project. The products that we sell via our store are made by a small, Argentine company, which provides steady, dignified work for a number of women from local communities. Every time we sell a t-shirt, we donate 10% of the price to this particular NGO (Conin) — an organisation which supports the fight against infant malnutrition in Argentina.