5 Tips How to be Digital and Responsible while Traveling
Digitalization is one of the key topics this year and now also focus of the World Tourism Day 2018.
Going digital is inevitable for many companies and businesses in order to be competitive in current and future markets. The digital generation, people growing up in the 90’s with easy access to digital information and communication technologies, are now adults and mostly well established and used to their digital life. Tourism is no exception to this trend, we almost see weekly innovations i.e. Augmented Reality, travel blogs, new travel apps, cameras, phones etc. everything that allows you to share and visualize your experience within seconds from all around the world. Indeed incredible!
These innovations create a complete new environment and it is important to consider the impacts we can have as an individual when traveling.
That’s why we thought, it is a good time to come up with 5 tips that helps you to be responsible and digital at the same time on your journeys.
1.) LOOK IT UP – USE DIGITAL INFORMATION TO PREPARE YOUR JOURNEY
There is very little that you cannot find on the internet nowadays. Use the privilege of having access to this information and prepare your journey adequately. Look up eco-friendly hotels, check out local, responsible tour operators, search direct flights (that might even compensate your CO2-Emissions), learn some words in the local language, understand religion and culture to pack accordingly (i.e. long shirts and trousers). Locals will definitely appreciate your efforts, you will see!
2.) SPREAD THE WORD – SUPPORT LOCAL PROJECTS AND TELL OTHERS ABOUT IT!
If you come across interesting projects and feel they are worth supporting make sure your friends or followers know about it. Only by sharing purposeful digital content you can really make a difference.
A great example is an app that started off in Bali but now successfully spread into multiple countries in South East Asia, called www.refillyourbottle.com. The application allows you to find refill stations around you to fill up your bottle (now you just have to bring one). Reducing plastic while saving money, just a great initiative.
3.) CHECK BEFORE CLICK – RESPECT LIMTATIONS AND LOCAL TRADITIONS!
When we are traveling behing our lenses during that hunt for the best shot or video it is sometimes easy to overstep our limits as a responsible traveler.
Use your common sense when taking pictures of locals or even their children. Just ask yourself how would you feel if a complete stranger is making a picture of you or your children playing in the streets? I guess the least that we can do as responsible travelers is to ask if it is okay to make a picture. Use body language if you don’t speak the local language, a thumbs up gesture is quite international for example.
Another example is drones, as they become more affordable and smaller anyone can own one and get impressive footage from above. Does that mean we can use it anywhere we want? Surely not, next to being aware of saftey standards and privacy there can be a cultural issues when using drones. A good example is Bali, you should not fly your drones over the temple as this is considered a scared place and nothing should be above the temple. You can read about that prior to your journey in online forums.
4.) DON’T GO TOO WILD – RESPECT THE DIGNITY OF ANIMALS AND BE SAFE
Animal attractions play a massive part in tourism and there is no doubt that a great picture of an Orang Utan or a Tiger in the jungle of Sumatra is something very memorable. Yet again we should stay alert and unerstand the limits. If you for example think, it would be a great idea to have a nice selfie while touching the famous Komodo Dragon, that might as will risk your and other peoples lifes, especially if you are invading their natural habitat.
Many people therefore prefer parks with animals in captivity so they can take the pcitures in a ‘controlled’ environment. Here again your common sense is required! How likely is it, that a tiger or an orang utan is voluntarily sitting still for hours every day just to be available for your pictures (and some hundreds more)? Exactly, very unlikely.
5.) LIVE IT DON’T TAKE IT – SOME MOMENTS CAN’T BE CAPTURED
Even today’s most sophisticated technological devices are not able to capture very special moments during your journeys, an atmosphere, a feeling, the warm hospitality, the laughter and the joy we experience when exploring our wonderful globe.
So our last tip for yourself is to be a responsible traveler but more importantly be a traveler that appreciates these magical moments and not missing them by trying to capture them.
We believe it is those moments that will remain in our memories and be surely more vivid than those on our memory cards.
HAPPY WORLD TOURISM DAY 2018 FROM WISE STEPS TRAVEL!Tags: 5 tips, digital, Indonesia, komodo dragon, orang utan, responsible, sustainable traveler, world tourism day 2018