During its first year of operation The Finnish Association for Fair Tourism developed ‘The Fair Traveller’s Guide’, which applies to both domestic and international travel.
- Educate yourself about your destination
Find information online, from travel guides, literature, classes & courses, travel agencies, or talk to other travelers.
- Travel outside high season
A more stable tourist flow strains the environment less than large groups of people during the peak season. Issues such as water consumption, waste management, problems caused by the traffic, erosion, and other environmental damages become more managable when tourism is introduced to the destination more evenly.
- Choose responsible operators
Travel with an operators that can prove their presence benefits the local community and minimizes the environmental and social disadvantages of tourism.
- Buy local products and services
Choose local products and services when shopping for food, transportation, accommodation, or souvenirs. Try to ensure that the majority of the money you spend stays within the local community.
Choose transportation that is energy efficient; trains are often a good alternative to planes. Walk anb ride a bicycle whenever possible. Pay attention to your water and electricity consumption; use water sparingly and electricity only when you really need to, remember to turn off taps and lights when leaving.
Pack smart – less weight means less gas consumption and less emissions. Only bring necessities and leave non-recycleables at home. At the destination, drink tap water if possible, reuse your shopping bag, avoid buying individually packed products, sort your waste etc.
Research your destination and its culture, customs, religion, and beliefs in advance. Learn basic phrases in the local language. Travel with an open mind and listen to the locals. Show interest and respect for the culture and people, treat people equally without prejudice. Try to avoid the ”tourist bubble”. Take pictures only with permission. Bargain only if it is a custom. ”When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. At the same time, remember that just because some things are acceptable and popular in some cultures and socities does not make them necessarily ok. Things like child abuse, human trafficking, or discrimination, should not be allowed anywhere. Report crimes to local authorities, your home country’s embassy, or the police at home.
- Protect humans, animals and the nature
Research local culture and customs as well as the prevailing social conditions at the destination. Avoid traveling to endangered sites. Protect yourself from diseases. Do not participate in activities that expose humans or animals to pain and suffering. Avoid supporting operators that use child labour. Respect nature. Follow rules and guidelines. Avoid traveling by motor vehicles in nature.
It is important to share your experiences in order to raise awareness of travel destinations. Many travelers might be interested in more sustainable options but do not have enough information about responsible tourism. Sharing your experiences benefits the future passengers as well as the local operators.