As summer rapidly approaches, people consider how to spend the quintessential summer vacation. Many families shell out enormous dollars to spend time at shopping meccas, designed more as ways to merchandise popular characters and logo smattered t-shirts, hats, bars of soap, even plastic cups.
I've taken several such family trips myself, but I always return home with an emptier wallet and the echo of wasted money and time. Such trips usually leave me feeling a little bit hollow. Consider the multimillion dollar enterprises that grow their bottom line and wonder, is there a better way to rejuvenate and get away?
One of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry centers on responsible and sustainable tourism. Tourism is often the only source of income for many areas of the world. Responsible tourism is the baby step towards completely sustainable tourism.
Tenets of such travel include:
- informing themselves of the culture, politics, and economy of the communities visited
- anticipating and respecting local cultures, expectations and assumptions
- contributing to intercultural understanding and tolerance
- supporting the integrity of local cultures by favoring businesses which conserve cultural heritage and traditional values
- supporting local economies by purchasing local goods and participating with small, local businesses
- conserving resources by seeking out businesses that are environmentally conscious, and by using the least possible amount of non-renewable resources
So tell me, what will you be doing on your summer vacation? Have you ever considered this sort of trip as an alternative?
(photo courtesy of: www.billhaneberg.com)