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Code of Ethics for Travellers

Be A Responsible Traveller

  • Reflect daily on your experiences; seek to deepen your understanding. Cultivate the habit of asking questions instead of knowing all the answers. Cultivate the habit of listening and observing, rather than merely hearing and seeing.
  • Choose to be surprised, not disappointed, when places or people do not match your expectations. Discover the enrichment that comes from seeing another way of life, rather than looking for the 'paradise' of the tourist posters.
  • If you really want a home away from home, why travel? If you really want your experience to be a "home away from home", it may be foolish to waste money on travelling!
  • Travel with a genuine desire to learn more about the people of your host country. Acquaint yourself with local customs and be aware of the feelings of other people, thus preventing what might be intrusive behaviour on your part. Remember that what enriches you may rob or violate others.
  • Remember that you are one of thousands of visiting tourists. Do not expect special privileges. Act as an example for other travellers who are less informed than you! Provide honest travel reviews upon your return and promote your positive experiences.

Be Informed & Prepared

  • Your pre-trip research can be continued by asking questions while you are there. Learn as much as possible about your destination and take time to understand the customs, norms and traditions. Avoid behaviour that could offend the local population.
  • Take appropriate health and safety precautions prior and during your trip. Know how to access medical care or contact your embassy in case of an emergency. Any attempt to learn even a few words of the relevant language will make this a more rewarding experience for all involved.
  • Familiarize yourself with the laws so that you do not commit any act considered criminal by the law of the country visited. Refrain from all trafficking in illicit drugs, arms, antiques, protected species and products or substances that are dangerous or prohibited by national regulations. Say NO to sexual tourism of all kinds, including that that involves children or adolescents.

Be Flexible & Open Minded

  • Approach your travels with an open mind and you won't be disappointed. Sometimes plans change and a chance for more in-depth learning or a unique cultural experience presents itself. Adapt yourself to the situation rather than trying to change the situation to you.
  • Open your mind to other cultures and traditions – it will transform your experience, you will earn respect and be more readily welcomed by local people. Be tolerant and respect diversity – observe social and cultural traditions and practices.

Respect Our Culture & Heritage

  • Religious buildings, like churches, mosques, and temples, are often viewed as tourist attractions; however, their primary purpose are as houses of worship for local residents; visitors should be quiet and respectful.
  • If you want meals exactly as it is at home, then why travel? When it comes to food, you need to have an adventurous spirit too and an open mind in trying all the different foods from different cultures that we have on offer here, of which most are really delicious and an unique blend of all only found in this part of the world.
  • Be perceptive of your own cultural values and how they affect your judgment of others. There are many different concepts of time, personal space, communication etc. which are not wrong or inferior, just different.
  • Take the opportunity to be a cultural ambassador. Look for situations for cultural exchange whereby learning about each other's lives is mutual. Getting to know the person sitting next to you on a local bus or the person cooking your food is often a rewarding experience.
  • Visitors to mosques and temples are welcome but you should be dressed decently in long skirts or trousers and proper tops – shorts, singlets and swimwear are not suitable. It is important to stay within designated visitor areas and not enter areas closed off to the public.

Respect Our Nature & Ecology

  • Ensure that your behaviour has no impact on the natural environment. Avoid picking flowers, removing seeds, damaging coral, and even buying souvenirs such as shells and skins. Do not purchase and/or support the traffic of items made of or containing exotic or endangered animal products.
  • Understand that there can be no guarantees when it comes to nature and wildlife, all sightings are a bonus and all good weather is a gift. Manage your expectations when sightseeing and nature-walking. React calmly in all situations when out in nature.
  • Dispose of waste properly. Leave what you find. Leave no trace of your visit.Respect wildlife and their natural habitats. In protected areas, access only the places open to visitors.

Respect Our People & Local Customs

  • Acquaint yourself with the local customs and respect them; people will be happy to help you if you ask nicely. Travel in a spirit of humility and with a genuine desire to meet and talk with the local people.
  • Realize that people in the country you visit often have time concepts and thought patterns different from your own. Not inferior, just different. Make no promises to local people unless you are certain you can fulfil them.
  • Be aware of the feelings of other people, thus preventing what might be offensive behaviour, especially when it comes to photographs. Don't treat people as part of the landscape, put yourself in their shoes, ask permission first, and respect their wishes.
  • Research your destination to learn about local customs, traditions and social conditions. It’s a great way to build understanding of the local community and excitement for your adventure ahead.
  • Learn to speak a few words in the local language. This can help you connect with the local community and its people in a more meaningful way.
  • Experience and respect all that makes an international destination different and unique, from its history, architecture, religion, dress and communication codes, to its music, art and cuisine.

Support The Local Economy

  • Spend wisely. Remember when shopping that the bargain you obtain may make you feel good but it is only possible because of the low wages paid to the maker or a large reduction in a person's livelihood, the value of which may just be "loose change" in your home country.
  • Your trip can contribute to economic and social development. Use the principles of fair trade and respect the livelihoods of local vendors and artisans by always paying a fair price. Do not buy counterfeit products or items that are prohibited by national / international regulations.
  • Try and put money into local people's hands: drink local beer or fruit juice rather than imported brands, eat locally produced food, and buy locally-made handcrafts and products.
  • Hire local guides with in-depth knowledge of the area.