The Code of Ethics For Travellers

An excerpt by Kurt Kutay from The Environmental Journal 1989; 1(4): 31-36.

The New Ethic in Adventure Travel

1. Travel in the spirit of humility and with a genuine desire to learn more about the people of your host country. Be sensitively aware of the feelings of other people, thus preventing what might be offensive behaviour on your 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 than your own. This does not mean 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 practice of asking questions.

7. Remember that you are only one of thousands of tourists visiting this country and do not expect special priveleges.

8. If you really want to experience a “home away from home”, it’s foolish to waste money on travelling.

9. When you are shopping, remember the “bargain” you obtained was possibly only because of the low wages paid to the maker.

10. Do not make promises to poeple 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.”


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