Travelling to different places is indeed refreshing, invigorating, and relaxing. The old adage tan lines fade but memories last is quite true. Before you find your way to any tourism destinations like Palawan and other places, it is necessary to do a little homework on what does a responsible tourist has to do. It may sound so negative or kill joy but once you set foot on a beach or an island, you don’t just grab any marine resource like a starfish for posterity’s sake. It is saddening to see how people disregard the possible effects of their actions whether positive or negative to the ecosystem.
Few months ago, photos of a group of people were circulating the internet showing each of them holding a starfish. And when someone informed them it is not allowed, these people carelessly tossed the starfishes back to the sea without regard.
Frustrating. Starfishes are not supposed to be exposed to air as it will damage their vascular system which allows them to move, digest, and breathe. This is an exact example why responsible tourism is necessary. We may never know exactly about the dynamics of ecosystem but we can at least be responsible for our own actions and how we affect not only the people around us but other living organisms as well.
Being aware and informed doesn’t hurt at all. Before you take your swimsuits and take the plunge I suggest going through the internet for a little homework is necessary. Be aware of the basic environmental policies implemented your next tourism destination such as waste disposal, animal protection, conservation initiatives and the like. For basics, I have here a few to take note of.
- Practice waste segregation and proper waste disposal.
- Refill water bottles at designated stations.
- Read signage, flyers, and information sheets.
- Attend information dissemination and tourists orientation.
- Take nothing but photos. Don’t take little things with you such corals, stones, and etc.
- Don’t touch any living organism without knowledge of proper handling.
- Don’t stand on corals or touch them as it may cause permanent damage.
- Support local vendors and tourism operators.
- Do not introduce any foreign food or object to indigenous peoples.
A little homework doesn’t hurt, indeed. Besides, that’s the main point of travelling, to learn about different places and cultures.