Be good trav­ellers

United Na­tions launches man­ual on tourist eti­quette.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Travel -

AL­WAYS ask be­fore tak­ing pho­tos of other peo­ple to re­spect their pri­vacy, and re­frain from giv­ing money to beg­ging chil­dren. Learn to speak a few words in the lo­cal lan­guage and make sure your pur­chase isn’t made with en­dan­gered plants or an­i­mals.

Th­ese are some of the tips from the United Na­tions World Tourism Or­ga­ni­za­tion’s (UNWTO) new Travel. En­joy. Re­spect hand­book, part of a global pub­lic aware­ness pro­gramme that comes with a man­ual on how to be a re­spon­si­ble tourist.

The launch comes amid a tourism cri­sis in Europe this sum­mer, where lo­cals across Spain and Italy have been stag­ing anti-tourism protests in re­sponse to un­sus­tain­able vis­i­tor num­bers, and in­ci­dents of tourists be­hav­ing badly in their cities.

Vis­i­tors to Barcelona are be­ing greeted with mes­sages like “Tourists go home” and “Stop de­stroy­ing our lives” pasted onto lamp posts and scrib­bled on walls.

In a bid to curb acts of hooli­gan­ism and re­store ci­vil­ity in their streets, Ital­ian cities like Rome, Turin, Florence and Mi­lan have re­sorted to bans on ev­ery­thing from out­door drink­ing af­ter night­fall, food trucks and street hawk­ers to eat­ing and drink­ing near his­toric foun­tains.

Most re­cently, Florence is­sued a thinly veiled warn­ing to vis­i­tors in a tourism cam­paign dubbed #En­joyRe­spec­tFirenze, re­mind­ing tourists that any dis­play of un­civil be­hav­iour will be met with hefty fines.

“When­ever you travel, wher­ever you travel, re­mem­ber to re­spect na­ture, re­spect cul­ture, and re­spect your host,” said UNWTO sec­re­tary-gen­eral, Taleb Ri­fai in a state­ment.

“You can be the change you want to see in the world. You can be an am­bas­sador for a bet­ter fu­ture.”

The UNWTO’s travel cam­paign will launch in var­i­ous lan­guages and out­lets around the world. – AFP Re­laxnews

Here are some tips from the UN hand­book:

Hon­our your hosts and our com­mon her­itage

Learn to speak a few words in the lo­cal lan­guage. This can help you con­nect with the lo­cal com­mu­nity in a more mean­ing­ful way.

Al­ways ask be­fore tak­ing pho­to­graphs of other peo­ple as it’s a mat­ter of pri­vacy.

Pro­tect our planet

Pur­chase prod­ucts that aren’t made us­ing en­dan­gered plants or an­i­mals.

In pro­tected ar­eas, ac­cess only the places open to vis­i­tors.

Re­duce your wa­ter and en­ergy con­sump­tion when pos­si­ble.

Sup­port the lo­cal econ­omy

Buy lo­cally-made hand­i­crafts and prod­ucts.

Re­spect liveli­hoods of lo­cal ven­dors and ar­ti­sans by pay­ing a fair price.

Do not buy coun­ter­feit prod­ucts or items that are pro­hib­ited by na­tional/in­ter­na­tional reg­u­la­tions.

Be an in­formed trav­eller

Take ap­pro­pri­ate health and safety pre­cau­tions prior to and dur­ing your trip.

Know how to ac­cess med­i­cal care or con­tact your em­bassy in case of an emer­gency.

Re­search well be­fore en­gag­ing into vol­un­tourism.

Be a re­spect­ful trav­eller / Ob­serve na­tional laws and reg­u­la­tions.

Re­spect hu­man rights and pro­tect chil­dren from ex­ploita­tion. Abus­ing chil­dren is a crime.

Re­frain from giv­ing money to beg­ging chil­dren and sup­port com­mu­nity projects in­stead.

The full man­ual can be found at www.touris­m4de­vel­op­ment2017. org/wp-con­tent/ up­loads/2017/08/tip­s_we­b_en. pdf.

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