To travel without hurting, what is meant by that? It is a pretty good way of describing responsible tourism from world-traveler Claudia Tavani, the founder of the adventure travel blog My Adventures Across The World.
In today’s interview, Claudia talks about her thoughts about responsible tourism after more than 6 years of travel while working as a travel writer. Claudia lives to inspire others to get out and experience their own adventures and has been implementing more and more responsible travel tips into her content with the years. A true advocate for conscious tourism as she focuses on the human as well as the environmental part of travel and says no to unethical animal tourism.
Let’s get to know this inspiring lady and see what she has to say about responsible tourism!
Meet Claudia Tavani
Claudia Tavani is a former human rights lawyer who abandoned her academic career to pursue a life of travel. She enjoys hiking, she loves volcanoes and she supports responsible tourism as a bridge between different cultures.
Through her blog My Adventures Across The World Claudia strives to provide inspiration and tips to other travelers. Claudia cooperated with various operators and tourism boards and she’s appeared on Lonely Planet and Wanderlust UK.
What does travel mean to you?
Travel means getting to know other cultures, people who are strikingly different from what I know, and learning that they are driven by the exact same things we all want: happiness, serenity, love.
What does responsible tourism mean to you?
It means not hurting – whether that is people, animals, or the environment. It means making sure that the money I put into my trips go to support the local economy and allow people to live a better life. It means making sure that animals live a free, happy life. It means leaving as little footprints as possible on the environment.
When did you first start to be conscious about the way you travel and the effects your travels have on your destination?
I think it was in 2015 during a trip to Indonesia. It was my first time in Asia and I was shocked to see the amount of pollution, the amount of plastic and garbage everywhere, and the ill-treatment of animals. I didn’t want to be part of it.
Have you traveled to a specific destination that you found especially sustainable that you would like to recommend to other travelers?
Botswana – though I think it was more a matter of the company I traveled with, who made it a point to use renewable energy and not to waste anything. It’s called And Beyond.
What do you do to travel responsibly?
I definitely avoid animal encounters that are not 100% ethical – I don’t do things such as elephant rides, tiger temples, or swimming with dolphins and other animals. I try to have as much of a local experience as I can – eating at local eateries whenever possible, staying at small, local guesthouses that support the local economy.
What are your top 3 advice to travelers that want to travel more responsibly?
Do your research! Some companies don’t appear nearly as irresponsible and unethical as they are. Tiger Temples in Thailand have forever portrayed themselves as conservation projects, but National Geographic investigations proved that the tigers are drugged so that tourists can take selfies with them; and that they are often killed and sold in parts to the Chinese black market.
Don’t be obsessed with saving money! Extreme budget backpackers who insist on things such as volunteering in a hostel in exchange for a bed, or even in couchsurfing, are doing nothing for the local economy. In fact, chances are they are literally “stealing” a job that a local would be paid for.
Try to use less plastic. We may do a great job at recycling when at home, but some countries aren’t exactly champions at that. If you are traveling to a developing country, do whatever you can to minimize the use of plastic. Take canvas bags with you so that you don’t have to ask for plastic ones. Bring a water bottle with a filter so that you can avoid buying bottled water. Avoid buying food that is wrapped in plastic.
Read next: Give your vote for responsible travel: An interview with Lauren Fenn-Ellis
See more from Claudia
I want to thank Claudia for taking her time to chat about this important topic and help spread awareness and inspiration to travel responsibly!
Is there anything else you wish I had asked Claudia about? Don’t be shy and comment below!
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