Almost six billion travels a year (500 million international flights), 127 million people employed, the outcome is 6% of gross domestic product. The influence of this complex phenomenon on our environment, culture, society and economy cannot be ignored anymore. This influence is very often a destructive one, especially in the Southern hemisphere, where there is no proper division of the income, which could somehow compensate for the loss of values and traditions, exploitation of the resources and social problems caused by the invasion of mass tourism.
Even the possibilities of encounters and exchange between tourists and locals, are in most cases adulterated or limited to quick and artificial experiences, if not even rude from the host’s perspective. Tourism with its implications deserves to be well though-out by everybody, citizens, institutions, industry and consumers.
There is a mode of travelling, where the first step is the awareness: self-awareness and awareness of your own actions, even if this means shopping (maps, souvenirs or staying in hostels); awareness of the reality of the country you are about to visit (social, cultural, economical, environmental…); of the possibilities and different choices. This is the Responsible tourism: ethical and conscious travel, that approaches the chosen destination, its peoples and environment, with respect and availability. This type of travel chooses not to support the destruction and exploitation, but to establish the universal principals: equality, sustainability and tolerance.