What exactly is Responsible Tourism? Everybody has some ideas about it. I just had some moments while traveling from which I thought..I am not going to do this anymore. I don’t want to be a part of this!
The first time I visited Jaipur I did got on that elephant… I didn’t thought about that at the time, I was still the tourist that’s just fascinated by what it sees. Enjoying everything that is been offered to that tourist. I have to confess that I got on the Elephant in Thailand too.
I wish I hadn’t… (2005-2008)
Get off the Elephant!
When we went to Amber Fort the ride up there was arranged by a travel agency. That ride was with the elephant. Without thinking anything about it I got on the back of the elephant together with a friend and we got up the hill to the magnificent Amber Fort.
There are ofcourse a lot of elephants in India. Those elephants are also used in ceremonies in Hindu religion and are colourful painted. They are holy at that point and used in rituals for the Hindu religion. I do think there is a thin line in what is good and bad in this situation. You can not change such an old religion and history but we can change what we do as a tourist.
We Can Act Responsible!
This year I visited Jaipur again but I didn’t went up on the back of an elephant and that gave me this great image!!
Amber Fort – Jaipur
I saw the elephants again. They’re still walking that same path up to Amber Fort and I really think it is not Responsible Tourism. In this time of age there’s a lot of attention for this wrong kind of tourism. But seeing all the people sitting on the elephants going up, I think it’s still not clear to a lot of tourists what Responsible Tourism is all about.
Because of the attention in the Social Media and on the Television etc I’m aware of my choices and think about why I don’t want to do this anymore. In Holland we had a campagn last summer and I took a plegde to never sit on an elephant again!
I’m Keeping My Plegde!
In this time we see more and more clips of situations of animals being expoited. Those animals don’t get what they deserve and what they need to funtion right. Their boss will try to push them to the edge to work for them. Just the other day I saw this clip of a horse that collapsed in front of audience in a city … It had to pull tourists in a carriage through town.
And we all know the clips of wild animals, preditors, that you can pose with for a picture… How do you reckon they get that calm? They are sedated to be behave like little kittens… The other day I saw this clip of a tiger falling asleep all the time and the man next to it slapping its face so it stayed awake.. And then the tourists standing in line to sit next to this sad animal..
This can’t be happening!?
The other day I was writing a piece about the fact that we, humanity, think we can do it all. It seems that we think we are above all laws…. As if we can break the laws of nature… We can break them and build it as we want it to be. As if it has no consequences at all what we do with nature and with animals.. As if we all think as Trump does: Fake News…
Are we still denying this all?
Like we all think: Yes, I do think it is sad but the picture is worth more… And…if I don’t do it someone else willl… Me, by myself, I don’t make the difference….
I do hope that the day will come that you are going to be responsible and think about what you are part of. Do you want to be part of those people that only use nature for their own best? Do you want to be part of those people that we are talking about in a couple of years with the words.. They didn’t knew better… When you actually did??
Take the responsibility!
Be that person you would like to be when looking back on your actions!
I stopped a couple of years ago and now am making use of nature in a positive way!!
Looking at the Elephant in the Masai Mara NP in Kenya
I don’t have to feel, maybe without knowing, quilty about this.
Because I can’t believe that if you look at the horrible images we all see in the news / television on the daily activities in the industry on how your meat is being processed…. You can’t be thinking, without any feelings, that it is not good!! You’re also human and feel for those animals!!
- I am not part of that group of humans from which we all say in the future…
They didn’t know it yet….
It is really time to realise that we do know better and that things need to change!! And that you realise that if you make that first step you are giving a good example for people in your surroudings and they might start thinking about it and setting that first step too!
I hope that after you read this you will think about your own actions, your own responsibilites and want to be aware in what role you are as a tourist but also in your hometown..
First of all, don’t sit on that Elephant…. Don’t pet that tiger!!
Do you act responsible?
After reading this I hope you start thinking about this and that it will change your ideas about this too. Don’t get on that elephant anymore…
And start thinking about other animals in your life .. What about those?
Share this post and spread the word!
Keep alert and ask yourself… Is It Responsible?
If you want to see lots of animals and do some good, why not go and do some volunteering in a National Park in Kenya?
Volunteering in Tsavo National Park – Kenya
Go see them in the Wild!! And enjoy nature so much more!!
Jacomijn is a police officer from The Netherlands who loves to show you how to travel the world Safe, Healthy and Active!! Safe and Healthy Travel is a MUST!