How to Become a Responsible Tourist

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Introduction

Responsible tourism is all about conformity of the tourist to the local culture, especially to the customs and laws of the host country or place of destination. There are different types of tourism and tourist. But all tourism is a cross-cultural encounter, an interaction between two cultures: the cultural orientation of the tourist and the culture or way of life of the tourist site. Thus, if an American tourist visits the famous Boracay Beach in the Philippines, he or she brings with her/his Western American culture mentality to the Philippines and interacts it with the local Filipino culture of the residents or hosts in Boracay island.

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Now, tourism often brings conflict in terms of cultural norms. Sometimes, tourists would impose consciously or unconsciously her or his cultural expectation and norm orientation to the tourist site and disregard the local norms and rules. For instance, Western tourists may find wearing bikinis in Philippine beaches as normal and culturally appropriate. But for rural folks in the Philippines, wearing this kind of outfit is culturally unacceptable and indecent.

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Cultural conflict is therefore inevitable. Thus, the tourist site or the host country must dictate how should tourists behave to protect the local culture. In this case, it must be the tourist site and authorities of the place who must determine through rules and policies how tourists must behave and become responsible to protect the local culture and attain sustainability of their tourism industry.

Here are some important tips on how the tourist can become responsible when visiting tourist sites:

  1. Orient yourself about the local culture of the place you are visiting. This includes knowing the customs or existing practices of the site. Know some basic rules on respect, decency, and social interaction.

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  1. Know the laws and ordinances of your place of destination before arriving at the area. Dont’s be afraid to ask friends or people who have visited the tourist spot you want to visit. Use the Internet or social media to get a glimpse of the rules.

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  1. Be respectful of the local people and customs of the place you are visiting. Don’t be arrogant and presume that you know many things about the site just because you are highly educated, rich, famous, and coming from a developed country.

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  1. Always remember that to become a responsible tourist means you conform to the norms and expectations of the tourist site and not the other way around. This advice is also good for your protection and safety when visiting tourist spots.

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Enjoy your trip, tour, and vacation! God bless!

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New Rules with the Re-Opening of Boracay Island

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World-famous Boracay reopened on Friday six months after it was ordered closed by President Duterte for massive rehabilitation due to years of neglect, overdevelopment, and disregard for environmental laws.

The Boracay Island and its white sand beach were closed to visitors in April after President Duterte called it a “cesspool” tainted by raw sewage flowing from hotels and restaurants straight into the sea.

According to the Department of Philippine Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, the carrying capacity of Boracay should also be limited to 19,215 persons a day and 6,405 tourist arrivals a day. This will be strictly enforced after the re-opening.

The beautiful island of Boracay will be reopening for a “test run” on October 26, 2018, six months after it was closed down for partial rehabilitation. Here are some new rules about the “new” Boracay:

1. No Booking, No Entry

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Tourists are now required to present their hotel booking when they get to the island. A verification booth will be set up in both Caticlan and Kalibo airports where officials will check the hotel bookings of tourists and make sure that they booked with accredited hotels. Department of Tourism has released a list of the 157 hotels that were allowed to be reopened. These hotels are those that have successfully acquired the required permits to operate on the island.

2. Easement 25 meters plus 5 meters.

No structures are allowed 25 meters away from the beach as well as the 5 meters easement in front of resorts and establishments.

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3. Promote Green Buildings

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4. No Casinos

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The government will also ban casino operations, while all water sports save for swimming are also banned for the time being.

5. Follow Ordinances and Environment Laws

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Boracay now has a total of 200 new lifeguards are now ready to serve swimming guests after undergoing intensive training under the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

6. Only Accepts Tourists within the Island’s capacity of 19, 215 at a time or 6,405 tourists a day.

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7. No Big Parties

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8. No Smoking and Drinking

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No smoking and drinking in public areas. You’re still free to drink or smoke in the confines of resorts, however!

9. Ban of Open Fires and Use of Kerosene Gas/Fuel

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From the previous 4 to 5 meters, the whole stretch of the road is now 12 meters-wide with walkway, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary.

GIF Credits: Giphy.com

References

Philippine Star (24 Oct 2018). Infographic: New rules for Boracay reopening. Retrieved from https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/10/24/1862824/infographic-new-rules-boracay-reopening.

 

My Latest TV Guesting: Responsible Tourism

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Thank you TV5 and Cignal TV for allowing me to share my sociological insights live on responsible tourism in your talk show “AGENDA” with the popular travel blogger Lillian Cobiao and TV host and columnist Cito Beltran. The episode will be replayed in channels 8 and 250 of Cignal satellite TV with 2 million subscribers. God bless! Let us be responsible as tourists and travelers!

Schedule of replays today Nov. 7 at Channels 8 and 250 of Cignal Satellite TV of our show: 12:00-1:00PM, 4:30-5:30PM and 11:00-12:00Midnight.

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A special thanks to Madelaine Lacson, the interview producer of the show!

https://web.facebook.com/ONENewsPH/videos/914328918755290/?t=0