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GoNOMAD's Code of Responsible Tourism supports the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism proposed by the World Tourism Organization in 1998. This important document outlines the benefits, rights and best practices of tourism activities and development around the world, highlighting responsible tourism's contributions to:

  • mutual understanding and respect between peoples and societies
  • individual and collective fulfillment for tourists and communities
  • sustainable development
  • enhancement of cultural and natural heritage
  • economic and political rights of workers and business owners in tourism related activities.

The World Tourism Organization and other tourism organizations around the world suggest several ways in which travelers can support responsible tourism:

  • Learn about the cultures and places you are visiting before you go through books and other resources.
  • Know and respect the traditions and behavioral expectations of your host communities.
  • Share your culture freely, but don't impose it.
  • Attend local cultural events.
  • Support local businesses including locally-owned hotels, restaurants, tour guides, shops, transportation providers and artisans.
  • Pay fairly for goods and services. Do not overpay or underpay.
  • Be wary of giving gifts or money to beggars and children. In many places, such behavior is not condoned and can be harmful. If you must give something, try a donation to the local school or hospital.
  • Be careful about photographing people. Always ask first.
  • Do not enter buildings, private homes or sacred sites without permission.
  • Do not enter protected areas without permission. Pay required entrance fees or give a donation.
  • Support programs and organizations working for the preservation and conservation of natural and cultural resources and the rights of workers in tourism fields.

If you follow these simple suggestions when you travel, you will contribute to the positive future of tourism around the world. After all, no one likes to see a destination--its culture, nature or economy-ruined. Being aware is all it takes to make a difference.

For a full text of the WTO's Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, visit:

For more information about planning responsible and sustainable travel, visit The International Ecotourism Society's "Your Travel Choice Makes a Difference" site at:



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