The #NigeriaTravelChat recently had a tweetchat with Nnennaya Fakoya-Smith aka Ajala Nene of Nene-Uwa. She is a Tourism Enthusiast, Tourism Booster/Promoter, Tour Broker and Travel Blogger. Ajala Nene is a campaigner for Sustainable Tourism which can be used as a tool to maximize impact on the environment and economy.
Sustainable Tourism is the act of visiting a place as a tourist and making positive impact on the environment and society. The Travel.Enjoy.Respect campaign by UNWTO aims at engaging tourist all over the world to be RESPONSIBLE TRAVELERS.
Here are invaluable tips on how to be a responsible traveller everywhere you go.
TRAVEL CLEAN – Do more of local traveling such as buses, cars, trains and tricycles aka keke.
EAT LOCALLY – Eating locally would help in supporting the local economics and even the farming industry
MANAGE WATER USAGE – Take short showers. Turn off water while scrubbing, brushing your teeth and washing. Try and get a BPA-free reusable bottle to refill with water.
LEAVE NO TRACE AND LEAVE IT – No littering. Pick up any trash. Keep the environment you visit as clean as possible. The ‘Leave No Trace’ helps to conserve the environment for future travelers and generations. Don’t take natural artifacts, leaves, flowers, sea-shells, even rocks and stones!
BUY LOCAL PRODUCTS – Support the local economy by purchasing handmade local products. Buying arts and crafts from the locals helps to preserve the city’s or town’s cultural heritage. Don’t buy products made from any product that would have been endangered such as animals, seashells.
BE ECO-FRIENDLY – Reduce waste by turning off the lights and all electricity appliances when leaving your rooms. Re-use products: To avoid throwing away products, take and reuse left over. Recycle products. Reduce waste products.
VOLUNTEER – Get involved in community service in the places you visit as a tourist. Help to keep & protect the ecosystem. Make sure the projects are truly benefiting to the local community. Do your research before you volunteer. Immerse yourself in the local culture and get involved in activities they do that preserves their environment. Find and join a small group tour operator that gives back to local communities.
SUPPORT LOCAL RESIDENTS – Hire hostels, home stays, join couch surfing, live with the locals.
RESPECT THE LOCALS – Keep their rules and regulations. Respect their culture.
BE AN INFORMED TRAVELER – Know all you need to know before you explore a destination.
PROMOTE LOCAL LIFE – Support the local life by immuring your self in how they live.
DISCOURAGE BEGGING – Don’t give gifts (cash or kind) to children. Donate to their community instead and let them share it.
ENCOURAGE POLITICAL SUSTAINABILITY – Let the government know what they should provide to encourage sustainable tourism.
SUPPORT RESPONSIBLE TOURISM – Get involved and join organizations that encourage sustainable tourism.
BE A TRUE RESPONSIBLE TRAVELER – Make sure you are an ambassador of Sustainable Tourism. Practice what you preach.
In the spirit of practicing what you preach, Ajala Nene and Funmi Oyatogun of TVP Adventures recently organized a Beach Clean Up activity at the Point of No Return, Badagry Slave Town, Lagos. Volunteers joined in cleaning the beach and it was a huge success. They also planted mini coconut trees as a way of leaving impactful footprints in the tourist town of Badagry.
For people who’d like to replicate such initiatives in their locations, you can begin by researching and joining organizations that are Sustainable Tourism campaigners, such as Sustainable Travel International. You can join STI by taking their TRAVEL BETTER course.
#NigeriaTravelChat is a bi-monthly tweetchat moderated by Sam Adeleke in partnership with Travel Massive Lagos.