6 Myths about Responsible Travel

Myths Responsible Travel Misconceptions Sustainability Sustainable

Its important that you realize that if we keep traveling like this, tourism and travel will not stay the same. Maybe more importantly, the world won’t be same, and it is definitely not changing in a positive way. We as consumers need to understand that our actions have consequences. Understanding that there is a role we need to play by acting and behaving responsibly at home AND during travels is a great start. This is where responsible tourism comes in. Some call it sustainable tourism, green tourism or like me, responsible tourism. They all stand for the same thing: saving the planet from our own actions. There are, however, many myths and misconceptions when it comes to responsible travel. Let’s clear a few things up now!


The foundation of responsible tourism is fairly easy – be culturally and socially aware when you travel. Understand the effects you have on the places you visit and try to make that effect a positive one. A bit of common sense will get you a long way!

Can you imagine that just a portion of the 1.2 billion travelers made just a few small changes in how they interact with other cultures and the way they travel. We could actually start making a difference!


This is possibly one of the greatest misconceptions when it comes to responsible travel. As with every way of travel, there are various prices. Responsible Travel is a great example of a company that offers a wide variety of responsible tours, they literally have something in everyone’s price range. From an overland tour throughout South America for $900 to a five-day photography tour in Finland for $1800. This company is great because next to sales they also have loads of information on how to make sure your trip will be better for the places you visit. After all, positive exchanges form the core of respectful and responsible trips.


Being a responsible traveler doesn’t mean giving up all comforts. This is not true by far. In fact, some of the most luxurious operators are leaders in the responsible travel industry.

Something else that falls under this category is the misconception that responsible travel can only be exercised in underdeveloped countries. It is true that it is most commonly associated with these destinations. However, each destination no matter rich or poor, the impacts of tourism have a negative effect on the place.

If you would like to check out some responsible tourism companies around the world. All these companies have found unique ways to solve issues that take place at certain destinations.


Looking after the environment is important – let’s just agree on that. If we don’t take care of a place, there’s not going to be anything to visit in the future. However, making sure that the people that live and work in tourism destinations are benefiting positively from the influx of tourists is vital for responsible travel. In the end, every piece of travel, from tourist attractions to hotels and transportations, all should consider the wellbeing of the people impacted by your trip.


You’re not wrong here, flying is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, especially in the travel industry. However, not flying has impacts too. The world without flying wouldn’t be much, much poorer, this is all related to the 8+ million jobs the aviation industry creates around the world.

Flying more responsibly is possible, and it doesn’t always cost a lot more. Choose airlines with environmental commitments, and try to pick direct routes. Research shows that Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific and Thomson are good choices when it comes to flying responsibly. Nature Air in Costa Rica is probably one of the greatest companies to fly with due to its carbon neutral status.

Myths Responsible Travel Misconceptions Responsible Travel Tourism Sustainable


Mass tourism probably has the worst reputation of all tourism segments when it comes to negative impacts. However, every destination, no matter how touristy, always has companies working responsibly. You might have to spend more time researching with who you should do your tours, but there are definitely options!

These locations are also great to make an impact on other tourists that don’t know about responsible travel yet. If you make some friends at your destination, don’t be shy and just tell them about the experiences you’ve had with traveling responsibly.

I hope I was able to clear some stuff up regarding responsible tourism! Let me know in the comments if you travel responsibly!

Myths Responsible Travel Misconceptions Responsible Sustainable Travel Tourism

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17 Responses

  1. happycoconutstravelblog
    | Reply

    sustainable tourism, I love that term! I agree, if everyone made a small change it would make a big difference.

  2. A Traveling Bond
    | Reply

    Everyone seems to think traveling has to be so expensive to be safe. NOT true! Glad you pointed this out!

    • Anne from Wonderluhst.net
      | Reply

      Thanks for pointing that out again! found that it is the most common myth when it comes to travelling responsibly.. Only 2 minutes of research would prove them wrong in this, but this is already to much effort for most. Such a shame since this kind of travel should be the future!!

      • A Traveling Bond
        | Reply

        Traveling with children is the BEST kind of travel. The extra research is so worth it!

  3. GlobalMary
    | Reply

    What a great article. I think we should always be aware of the environment and the negative impact that one or another action may cause. Good job pointing it all out!

  4. By Land and Sea
    | Reply

    This is a great post! I just started my Master’s in Sustainable Tourism, so this definitely caught my eye. Thanks for sharing!! Subscribed and looking forward to your future posts.

  5. Genevieve
    | Reply

    Thanks for sharing! I try to be a conscientious consumer, but I don’t spend a lot of time translating that to my travel side! I think you made some really great points, and I’ll definitely be looking to increase my awareness in the future.

  6. Rirhandzu Marivate
    | Reply

    Thank you, thank you for making sustainable travel more accessible. I am trying to apply that with my own travels.

  7. thesanetravel
    | Reply

    I loved your definition of responsible tourism. I try travel responsibly every time. Thanks for sharing!

  8. RosiEscapes
    | Reply

    definitely travel responsibly. there are a lot of myths but there are ways to see the world . nicely done 🙂

  9. Diana Chen
    | Reply

    Responsible tourism is so important! One thing you wrote about that I had not previously thought about is choosing airlines that have higher environmental standards. I usually just go with whichever airline has the cheapest tickets, but I will definitely pay more attention to that in the future!

  10. Miranda
    | Reply

    Great article! I always to to keep sustainability and responsibility in mind when I travel. Another thing I do to offset flight emissions is pay to plant trees with an organization like onetreeplanted.org 🙂

  11. Soraya
    | Reply

    This is a great post! It’s so true how many misconceptions there are about sustainable tourism. I have to admit, when I first started to learn about the term, I thought it was about roughing it out. But gosh was I wrong! I discovered some incredible brands, like Banyan Tree, who are doing wonderful things towards sustainable tourism. Plus I think it’s so important to remember that sustainable tourism is more then just the environment. It’s also about sustaining local cultures and traditions, and about supporting local businesses.

  12. Sydney Fashion Hunter
    | Reply

    As a frequent traveller I consciously try to do my bit for sustainable tourism. I find little things can make a big difference. I offset my flights regularly for just a few dollars more and try to chose Hotels that have environmental programs. Even something as simple as not have your sheets/towels laundered daily can add up. Thanks for opening up my eyes to some more things I could be doing!

  13. blondemoments
    | Reply

    i always get to ask if i am rich because i travel so much. and it is just so hard to explain people that it is not expensive to travel at all. i believe that if you really want to go out there and you only have a small budget then there is a way because there is always a way.

  14. Christina Guan
    | Reply

    This is a really important topic, so I’m glad you covered it. I think one of the biggest issues is that (as you pointed out), the term “responsible tourism” is so vague and not clearly defined, which makes it hard for people to know when they’re travelling responsibly. I think a detailed guide with actionable steps on how to be more responsible when abroad = key to behaviour change. One topic I’m really passionate about is responsible volunteer travel, because there’s a LOT of misconceptions about that as well, along with what is actually helpful for communities that people volunteer in… but that’s a whole other can of worms. Perhaps a good topic for a future blog post? haha 🙂

    • Anne from Wonderluhst.net
      | Reply

      Thanks so much for your response. I totally agree and think that the not knowing part is such a big deal when it comes to responsible travel. I always try to let people know what it is and how it works. Especially since I’m writing my bachelor thesis about this subject aswell. Just letting people know that they can change big things with small actions can already make such a big change! And will be looking into responsible volunteer tourism, since I’ll be working at a company that offers this from October onwards!! Exciting stuff hehe 🙂

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