Tourism Ethics

Ecumenical Coalition On Third World Tourism
Code Of Ethics For Tourists

  1. Travel in a spirit of humility and with a genuine desire to learn more about the people of you host country. Be sensitively aware of the feelings of other people, thus preventing what might be offensive behavior on you part. This applies very much to photography.
  2. Cultivate the habit of listening and observing, rather than merely hearing and seeing.
  3. Realize that often the people in the country you visit have time concepts and thought patterns different from your own. This does not make them inferior, only different.
  4. Instead of looking for the "beach paradise", discover the enrichment of seeing a different way of life, through other eyes.
  5. Acquaint yourself with local customs. What is courteous in one country may be quite the reverse in another -- people will be happy to help you.
  6. Instead of the Western practice of "knowing all the answers", cultivate the habit of asking questions.
  7. Remember that you are only one of thousands of tourists visiting this country and do not expect special privileges.
  8. If you really want your experience to be a "home away from home", it is foolish to waste money on traveling.
  9. When you are shopping, remember that the "bargain" you obtained was possible only because of the low wages paid to the maker.
  10. Do not make promises to people in your host country unless you can carry them through.
  11. Spend time reflecting on your daily experience in an attempt to deepen your understanding. It has been said that "what enriches you may rob and violate others.
The American Society of Travel Agents Ten Commandments On Eco-Tourism
  1. Respect the frailty of the earth. Realize that unless all are willing to help in its preservation, unique and beautiful destinations may not be here for future generations to enjoy.
  2. Leave only footprints. Take only photographs. No graffiti! No litter! Do not take away souvenirs from historical sites and natural areas.
  3. To make your travels more meaningful, educate yourself about the geography, customs, manners and cultures of the region you visit. Take time to listen to the people. Encourage local conservation efforts.
  4. Respect the privacy and dignity of others. Inquire before photographing people.
  5. Do not buy products made from endangered plants or animals, such as ivory, tortoise shell, animal skins, and feathers. Read Know Before You Go, the U. S. Customs list of products which cannot be imported.
  6. Always follow designated trails. Do not disturb animals, plants or their natural habitats.
  7. Learn about and support conservation-oriented programs and organizations working to preserve the environment.
  8. Whenever possible, walk or use environmentally-sound methods of transportation. Encourage drivers of public vehicles to stop engines when parked.
  9. Patronize those (hotels, airlines, resorts, cruise lines, tour operators and suppliers) who advance energy and environmental conservation; water and air quality; recycling; safe management of waste and toxic materials; noise abatement, community involvement; and which provide experienced, well-trained staff dedicated to strong principles of conservation.
  10. Encourage organizations to subscribe to environmental guidelines. ASTA urges organizations to adopt their own environmental codes to cover special sties and ecosystems.

Travel is a natural right of all people and is a crucial ingredient of world peace and understanding. With that right comes responsibilities. ASTA encourages the growth of peaceful tourism and environmentally responsible travel.

Source: the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), 1101 King Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone 703-739-2782.