I rememeber being on a safari in Africa when one of the group (no one I previously knew), starting throwing candy at children who were running alongside our vehicle. I was so dumbfounded I think I was just sitting there with my mouth hanging open -staring in disbelief at a middle aged adult being so disrespectful.
Within a few minutes our guide came back and told her to please stop throwing things at the local children. Would she ever have considered hurling things out a window to kids at home? What message was she sending? The kids fought for the “gifts”, running dangeroulsy close to the truck, it was a whole lot of wrong!
I remember at the time being embarrassed for that woman, but now I am embarrassed for myself because I never said anything to her!
Read the great article written in Travel to Change the World-
Words by Travel to change the world
IT’S ALWAYS GOING TO FEEL A BIT AWKWARD IF YOU CHOOSE TO TELL A FRIEND THAT THE PHOTO THEY JUST PROUDLY POSTED ON INSTA OF THEM AT AN OVERSEAS ORPHANAGE IS ACTUALLY CAUSING SEVERE HARM.
How do you explain to that certain friend that the orphanage is operating solely to attract tourist dollars and that the so-called ‘orphans’ have families who were financially desperate enough to accept cash in exchange for their child?
How do you then tell them of the emotional damage day visits cause to these children, who are failing to learn long-lasting love and only see it as a fleeting emotion?
Should you even mention it? Will you come across as ‘too preachy?’
It’s an extremely complex topic and not an easy conversation to have for anyone, but when it comes to the welfare of children, animals and the environment, it’s an issue that needs to be flagged for everyone’s long term benefit.
WHAT’S THE CHALLENGE?
In today’s instant selfie world of the personal gratification that comes from garnering influence on social media, it’s easy for all of us to get lost in the moment and end up inadvertently spreading the wrong message.
Just look at Kim Kardashian West and the backlash she received recently when she posted snaps of herself posing on the back of an elephant in what she thought was an elephant sanctuary in Bali.
While the post didn’t go down well at all with many of her 142+ million followers (it’s since been removed), it did spark some much-needed conversation and awareness around the whole animal tourism piece which perhaps ironically, became a positive.
Given the choice and being aware, most people will choose to do the right thing, it’s just that often, we’re not skilled up on these modern-day ethical dilemmas at the time.
WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
To help you (and us) get the message across without causing offence, we asked two of the most responsible travel operators in tourism – G Adventures and Intrepid Travel.
Here’s how they suggest you break the news gently:
Dan Coleman, National Sales Manager at G Adventures Australia & New Zealand, recently found himself in a similar situation and said although it was tough, the outcome was positive.
“He thanked me, saying he never realised the bigger picture”
DAN COLEMAN, NATIONAL SALES MANAGER AT G ADVENTURES AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
“As a traveller, I had already broken most of ‘the rules’ of responsible travel before I’d been educated about them. But it’s never too late to learn, and to start making more responsible decisions whilst travelling,”
“I had an instance recently when I saw my best mate posting pics of captive wildlife while on holiday in Thailand. I wanted to be gentle in how I brought it up with him, but I did want to treat it as an opportunity for him to learn. I reached out via messenger, told him I loved that he was having a great time, and explained that I wanted to tell him about why such activities were harmful,”
“We talked about it again in person the next time we met and he thanked me, saying he never even considered how posing for a pic is part of a bigger issue.”
Please read the full article here:
What do you do when you see a friend breaking responsible tourism rules?