Carry a hat, pack a sunscreen, don’t forget your sunglasses – you have already heard and read all of that to death. In the wake of sustainable tourism, there are a few things you should avoid doing if you’re visiting any island or island country in the world. By Shubhanjana Das
Even though the money you spend traveling in any place in the world contributes to its economic growth, it’s on you to ensure that it doesn’t adversely affect the place’s inherent natural beauty. Why should you be just tourists when you can be responsible tourists? P.S. when you read the following points, add a ‘do not’ in capital letters in your head, just for better impact, you know.
1. Carry Alcohol To Beaches:
We understand that it may be a lot of fun to enjoy a bottle of beer sitting by the beach with the infinite horizon in view, but are we not already aware how this makes the beach not only dirty but also makes the locals or the fishermen, who may be walking on the beach bare feet, susceptible to injuries from glass shards? You can forget your worries behind while on an island vacay but not your civic responsibilities.
2. Go In Big Groups:
Islands have a very fragile ecosystem and need to be given the highest degree of care and attention to preserve the balance. If you are planning a trip to an island nation with your friends and/or family, we suggest you keep the group limited to only 6-7 people. This ensures that you have limited impact on the place and not disturb the inhabitant wildlife population. Besides, island nations are not like big cities. There are only so much resources they can provide, which itself weighs a lot on the carbon footprint scale.
3. Go Against The Rules, Regulations And Culture Of The Place:
Even though this applies to anywhere and everywhere you go, this should especially be kept in mind while visiting an island nation. The local population has its own ways of coexisting with nature and also a unique cultural identity. No matter what you do, don’t breach the sense of privacy of the wildlife or the local population. Remember that the place you’re vacaying in for, say, two weeks, is the permanent residence of the locals. You may come back with a bag full of memories but your impact on the place is irreversible.
We know this is common and known to all but it needs to be emphasised nonetheless. Littering and irresponsible trashing is what turns once beautiful places into not-so-popular ones and ironically, it is the people who complain that “oh it is so dirty” who had, perhaps, at one point of time, contributed significantly to the problem. Waste generation and management is a massive issue plaguing the whole world. When you travel, go a step ahead in ensuring that you help the place maintain its cleanliness and aesthetic appeal. P.S. we would also suggest that ideally, try reducing the amount of waste you generate. Most island nations have no or very weak recycling facilities and all of its waste either gets burned (causing air pollution) or dumped into the ocean (contributing to the ocean pollution).
5. Disturb The Wildlife:
Your selfies aren’t as important as the animal’s safety or private space. This not only disturbs the wildlife of the place but also puts you in danger of getting attacked by an animal you may have disturbed with the flash in your camera. If you’re venturing into a forest, going scuba diving, or snorkelling, strictly follow your (local) guide’s instructions for they will know the best about their ecosystem.