Find Croatia SUSTAINABLE TOURISM INFO

Find-Croatia.com is aiming to
promote Sustainable Tourism. We provide information about Croatia
for travelers to travel with minimal impact. If you are planning
a trip to Croatia , check out the Travellers
Code
which has good advice on how to get the best
out of a trip while minimizing your impact on the places you visit.

In summary Sustainable Tourism should:

  • Minimize negative environmental, social and cultural impacts
  • Generate greater economic benefits for local people and enhance
    the well being of host communities by improving working conditions
    and access to the industry
  • Involve local people in decisions that affect their lives
    and life chances
  • Make positive contributions to the conservation of natural
    and cultural heritage and to the maintenance of the world’s
    diversity
  • Provide more enjoyable experiences for tourists through meaningful
    connections with local people, and a greater understanding of
    local cultural and environmental issues
  • Be culturally sensitive and engender respect between tourists
    and hosts

The Tourism Organisation Tourism
Concern
has developed a guide on how all travellers
can reduce their negative impact on the communites and environments
they visit. They worked with a forum of travellers and backpackers
to produce this list which is aimed at getting more out of your
travels while giving more back to the places you visit and the
people you meet. We liked their code and decided to publish
it here as most of the Code could apply to travellers and visitor
to Croatia.

Source: http://www.tourismconcern.org.uk/

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Travellers
Code

Learn about the country you’re
visiting

Start enjoying your travels before you leave by tapping into as
many sources of information as you can. To get the most out of
a trip, seek out lots of information and you’ll find more
chances for enjoyment. There is lots of material around for just
about every country and it needn’t be difficult to locate.
As well as using Worldsurface and other websites and guidebooks
try reading some of the classic and contemporary literature
of the country. Music can plug you right into the pulse of
a place. For example, the stereotypical image of Cuban music
is the Buena Vista Social Club but the Cuban music scene is
diverse and dynamic. When you are researching the countries you
wish to visit do not forget to check out the behaviour and dress
codes which will be expected of you – don’t visit
a religious site looking as though you forgot to get dressed
that morning. One of the major impacts holidays and travel
have on a destination is economic. If you want to make sure
you bring some economic benefit, find out whether there are
any community or locally run/ owned places to stay and eat.

The cost of your holiday

Think about where your money goes – it is very easy to forget
your conscience when you are on a budget trying to save every
penny. By all means haggle (it is part of the culture after all)
but don’t go over the top – pay a fair price and maybe
the person you’re buying from will feed his or her family
that day. It doesn’t really hurt to be fair and realistic, in
fact it can be very rewarding.

Try and put money into local people’s hands by spending your
money in the local economy. Drink local beer or fruit juice rather
than imported brands; more often than not they are cheaper and just
as good if not better. If it is freshly squeezed juices against
bottled ‘who-knows-how-long-ago’ carbonated, flavoured,
E numbers.

Thinking about where your money goes also includes
trips, guides and places to stay. Locally owned accommodation
using locally sourced products is a way to make sure your money
goes directly into the local economy. Tours and excursions run
by locals will educate you and benefit them.

Haggling or bargaining is seen as an integral
part of the culture in many places, something that you are expected
to do. There can even be a kind of status symbol tied up with
travellers’ ability to get a bargain. But some travellers
often get the culture of bargaining wrong and go too far. It’s
not normal in our culture to haggle so travellers often have misconceptions
about how it’s done. “I must have the cheapest price
for this”, “I don’t want to be ripped off”
are common comments but we can cause a lot of offence being overly
suspicious or aggressive. The equivalent of 20c to us may mean
the difference between a meal for a family or not – and
this is not an exaggeration, in Ghana (circa 2001), the average
wage is around $1.30 a day out of which a Ghanaian has to find
food, rent, clothes and pay bills – the thought of saving
for her own holiday is probably totally out of the question! Remember
how wealthy you are compared to local people.

Culture

Open your mind to new cultures and traditions – it will transform
your experience, you’ll earn respect and be more readily
welcomed by local people.

Be observant and respectful of local norms, adopt
local cultural practices where you can without seeming patronising.
Remember – minds are like parachutes, they work better when
they are open. Keep watching and learning.

Choose your destination according to your beliefs.
If you are not willing to compromise a belief then choose another
destination Be discrete about your personal point of view on cultural
differences. Behave and dress appropriately.

You need to know the laws and attitudes to drugs
and alcohol in your destination countries. It is important to
obey the law – you are not exempt from it, and you cannot
bribe your way out of trouble. You may find in some places that
alcohol and drugs are seen as culturally offensive, as well as
dangerous to you and the young people who get dragged into the
drugs trade. “The effect on the local community of travellers
taking drugs when visiting the hilltribes of Thailand can be devastating.
People become trapped into selling drugs to travellers and become
addicted themselves, especially young people who want to be like
the travellers.” Jaranya Daengnoy, Thai tour organiser,
Responsible Ecological and Social Tours (REST).

How big is your footprint? – minimise
your environmental impact

Learn local methods of waste disposal, remember that most Third
World countries don’t have waste collection services. So
minimise your waste by using biodegradable products, limiting
packaging and maybe take a water filtering bottle.

Be sensitive to limited resources i.e. water,
electricity and fuel, these will almost certainly be at a premium
in poorer countries. Batteries are one of the most damaging products
to leave behind.

Support the conservation not the exploitation
of wildlife. Stick to the rules laid down by local governing bodies,
for example not going off-road in National Parks. Help preserve
local wildlife and habitats by respecting rules and regulations,
such as sticking to footpaths, not standing on coral and not buying
products made from endangered plants or animals. Exploring rainforests,
mountain trekking, going through remote desert regions, diving
in a coral reef – all of these are things that travellers’
dreams are made of. But if everyone who visited such environments
did it without working out how to limit their environmental impact,
damage would soon follow.

Guidebooks

Use your guidebook as a starting point, and not as the sole truth
– it’s just another source of information. Talk to local
people, then discover your own adventure! Using one resource exclusively
will give you a very one dimensional view. Use your guide book
as just that – a guide. Read up, talk to other people –
particularly local people – they can provide a wealth of
information. Unlike guidebooks they are up to date. Don’t
come home having given more time to reading the ‘book’
than to seeing the things it’s telling you about.

Photography

Often the traveller wants photos to remind them of their travels
– but there are times when photography can offend and be
intrusive. How do you get the photos of your lifetime without
making enemies of the people you are visiting? Simply take time
to consider the impact it has on local people and how you can
reduce that impact, if it’s inappropriate, don’t take
it. Don’t treat people as part of the landscape, they may
not want their picture taken – put yourself in their shoes, ask
first and respect their wishes. Flash photography can damage works
of art – ask first.

Download a copy
of the
Travellers
Code
in pdf format to read and distribute!