Think about where your money goes - be fair and realistic about how cheaply you travel. Try and put money into local people's hands; drink local beer or fruit juice rather than imported brands and try to stay in locally owned hostels.
Haggle with humour and not aggressively. Pay what something is worth to you and remember how wealthy you are compared to local people.
Souvenir Alert is a campaign which was launched by the World Wildlife Fund and partners to combat the international trade in endangered species.
What you can do?
You can play a crucial role in curbing illegal and non-sustainable trade. Think before you buy - and remember that trade in tourist wildlife souvenirs can threaten endangered species. If you have any info about wildlife smuggling call 01483 426 111 and ask for an Eyes and Ears Action Pack to report your findings.
International Trade in the Following is Prohibited:
- Elephant Ivory - mainly found in artefacts from Asia and Africa
- Chinese Medicines containing any part of tiger, rhino or leopard.
- Sea Turtle shells - souvenirs from turtle shells are found in the Caribbean.
- Any Big Cat fur, teeth, claw or skins.
- Shatoosh - shawls made from the wool of this Tibetan antelope are banned.
For more information contact:
WWF-UK, Panda House, Weyside Park, Godalming, Surrey GU7 1XR
Open your mind to new cultures and traditions - it will transform your experience.Think carefully about what's appropriate in terms of your clothes and the way you behave. You'll earn respect and be more readily welcomed by local people.
Respect local laws and attitudes towards drugs and alcohol that vary in different countries and communities. Think about the impact you could have. "The effect on the local community of travellers taking drugs when visiting the hilltribes of Thailand can be devastating. People become trapped into selling drugs to travellers and become addicted themselves, especially young people who want to be like the travellers." Jaranya Daengnoy.
Use your guidebook as a starting point, not the only source of information. Talk to local people, then discover your own adventure!
Minimise your environmental impact. Think about what happens to your rubbish - take biodegradable products and a water filter bottle. Be sensitive to limited resources like water, fuel and electricity. Help preserve local wildlife and habitats by respecting rules and regulations, such as sticking to footpaths and not buying gifts made from endangered plants or animals.
Don't treat people as part of the landscape, they may not want their picture taken. Put yourself in their shoes, ask first and respect their wishes.
The ideas expressed in this code were developed by and for independent travellers. They show what individuals can do to play their part towards Tourism Concern's goal of more ethical and fairly traded tourism.