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How To Be An Ethical Traveler

Ethical travel involves choosing destinations and hotels that have a commitment to the community at large and are environmentally mindful.  While it can be a challenge to ascertain a hotel’s commitment to the community, you can ask some of the questions we list below.  In addition, find out if the hotel or chain has received certification from independent bodies like Sustainable Travel International or Green Globe.

If you are unsure if the hotel you are choosing is helping the community surrounding it, consider asking the hotel manager these questions and his or her answers will serve as your guide as to whether the hotel puts community service as a priority.

  • Do you track your hotel’s environment impact?  Do you set goals to minimize your impact on the environment?
  • Do you have a formal social responsibility policy?  Is this policy communicated to employees, guests and suppliers?
  • Do you offer guests the opportunity to reuse their linen and towels?
  • Do you have a recycling program?  Are guests given the opportunity to recycle?
  • Do you hire locally?  Do you have ongoing training for your employees?
  • Do you attempt to buy your supplies from companies that pay fair wages?
  • Does your hotel attempt to source food and other supplies from locals – thus improving the local economy and supplying jobs?
  • Do you use compact fluorescent lighting in your rooms and common areas?
  • If you are staying at a chain hotel, does the head office evaluate compliance of the social responsibility policy at each hotel?

Travel can be a very exciting way to spend your time and money.  Now, it is more important than ever to recognize that where you travel and where you stay can help have a positive impact on the local economy.  Try a socially responsible vacation for your next holiday and discover the ‘power of travel’.

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