Responsible Travelling in Amritsar
Responsible travelling in Amritsar
Travelling is for soul what flower is to a plant, It can live without it but its presence is the reason for its beauty.
Travelling is one of the most precious gifts that god gave us, when he chose not to give us roots like trees. Our planet is a wonderful place with wonderful amount of people, animals, fruits, mountains, rivers, and views that leave us in awe. It is this diversity, that creates something which is nothing less than magnificent, and it is our duty to be thankful and responsible travellers.
Travelling could start with a simple walk to the nearby park, but when it starts to grow it takes you millions of miles away in homes of strangers, sharing their food, and trying to see the world through their perspective.
You might have never thought of it but travelling could also have some negative effects.
Like all other things, travelling if not done responsibly can do more harm than good. We truly think that most people have good intentions when they travel, but are often not aware of what consequences their unthoughtful travelling can have on local environment, native communities and wildlife.
So what is Responsible Travelling ?
Responsible travelling in its simplest essence is travelling in such a way that you actions doesn’t have any negative effects on Native communities and local environment.
Often the communities are affected by over-development and westernization. Local restaurant are replaced by MNCs like Mcdonalds and Starbucks. Hotels drive up the real estate cost. Sometimes a peaceful little town which holds rich culture is slowly transformed into a tourist destination, with its silence and solitude lost in the process. Local artists give up their traditional art in order to give tourists what they are comfortable with. Rivers are left filled with plastic bags, and mountain tops are littered with eatables.
We know that Responsible travelling cannot always be easy, sometimes it can be confusing and a little farther away from a simple convenient answer. We should not remain ignorant, we should educate ourselves, we should travel responsibly.
What to do?
- Eat local - You didn’t travelled half the globe to eat at the same established restaurants which you could have enjoyed near your home. Try eating at the local Taste point. You would be surprised at how great tasting their food can be, and your money would be much more appreciated here than those multi chain food houses.
- Shop local - The doller is much more stronger in the developing countries such as Asia. Your local shopping could help pay tuition for small vendor’s daughter. Or a new cricket bat for a little boy.
- Research you hotel/travel agency - Internet is a wonderful miracle, you can find out about a business’s vision and morals sitting in the comfort of your home. Always search for Hotels/Travel agency that support Responsible travelling and are aware of the affects that tourism can have on the local communities.
- Save wildlife - If you are visiting a place where your experience involves interacting with animals, make sure that those animals are not harmed or mistreated. Often the operators of these places are not concerned with the well being of the animals. If you see any miss-treatment SPEAK-UP.
- Don’t litter - Never litter the place that is willing to give you so many lifelong memories. Always search and ask for a dustbin. Do not accept plastic bags, try carrying a backpack where you can store your things if the need arise.
- Respect the dress code - If you are travelling to the country whose religion and clothing traditions are unknown to you, it is better to research it in advance. For example Countries in Asia like India have a lot of temples where wearing shorts are not permitted.
- Manners matter - Ask permission before taking someone’s photo, be kind, bargain reasonably.
- Give Reviews - If you visit a local place and find it amazing, make sure to leave a review. The same goes for something you find disturbing like animal cruelty, it will help other travellers to discover or avoid places accordingly.
Why I wrote this ?
I am a local experience guide at www.experienceamritsar.com . I am passionate about Responsible travelling, which is why I have made it one of my primary principal. Although it is tempting to ignore few things and to fall back on convenience, I am committed to providing a sustainable travel experience. Which benefits the community that has given me so much, and the environment without which we would not even be here.
What I do ?
- Small group of people per tour for a better experience.
- Tours and experiences tailored for providing unique unforgettable memories.
- Recommending local shops and eating points.(otherwise inaccessible)
- We never engage in activities where animals are harmed or placed outside of their natural habitats.
- We provide wheelchair Accessible tours. Although these are conditional, and are not available for every tour, but we are continuously trying to broaden our services.