5 Simple Actions to be a Responsible Traveler

Thailand is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Every year, millions of travelers from around the world visit Thailand for business or leisure. While tourism contributes largely to the country’s economic growth, it can also put pressure on nature and the environment. Travelers can help prevent the adverse effects that tourism can have on the environment by acting responsibly while in Thailand. Below are five simple actions you can take to be a responsible traveler.


1. Do your research

Before you arrive in Thailand, learn about the local culture, customs and safety risks. Do your research in advance and find out what are the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” while in the country. As travelers, it is important to know laws that are relevant to travelers, such as some provisions of the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act. For example, it is forbidden to bring any ivory product or souvenir into or carry out of Thailand. Buying or trading wildlife such as tiger parts or products is illegal. Knowing about these laws will keep you safe and avoid being fined or penalized.

2. Make an informed choice

If riding an elephant or cuddling tiger cubs for that memorable souvenir photo is on your bucket list, it is time to reconsider these activities. To travel responsibly, you need to make the right choices that benefit nature and wildlife. Some tour operators are more concerned about their business than the welfare of animals. If these animals grow too large to handle, they will ultimately be killed. Make sure that you select tour operators that adhere to environmentally-friendly policies, including protecting wildlife and employing local guides who are familiar with local laws and customs.

3. Shop carefully

Never be tempted to buy ivory or other wildlife products, even as souvenirs. By doing so, you are at risk of acting illegally and sustaining criminal activity. Do not think that the animal where the wildlife product came from is already dead and, therefore, no harm has been done. Buying the product or souvenir will further fuel illegal wildlife trade and encourage poachers to capture or kill more animals.

4. Take nothing but good memories

Travelling responsibly includes understanding that nature is best left alone. Wild animals are not pets and they are best left in the wild. Their parts are beautiful only on their bodies. Protect the lives of animals and preserve this limited and dwindling natural treasure for the next generation. Take away nothing but good memories of your trip.

5. Educate Your Friends and Family

You have the power to influence others. Encourage your friends and family to travel more responsibly by taking the above recommended actions. By expanding consciousness of responsible travel, you will help promote sustainable tourism.