Culturally sensitive tourism Guest post by Karthika Gupta

Culturally sensitive tourism is all about having a positive experience during your travels as well as leaving a positive impact on the people who live in the places we choose to visit.

Here are some basic guidelines on how you can do this for yourself. Practicing culturally sensitive tourism is truly not that difficult. If anything it involves a lot of self-awareness, humility and compassion for the things that we see and do.

#1 KNOWLEDGE IS KEY

Invest time before traveling to research the customs, and norms of the place you will visit. Customs vary not only by country, but by region and religion as well. Understand and appreciate the diverse cultural context, and be respectful of these differences.

#2 BE PERSONABLE

Self confidence, an open attitude, and a genuine smile, are important wherever you travel. People will generally respond to you with the same attitude that you show them. Be open and honest about your needs and people will respond positively to you. 

#3 MIXING PHOTOGRAPHY AND TRAVEL

This is a hot topic made popular by the advent of social media. I am sure this can be a whole podcast episode in itself but lets cover some basic guidelines here. Almost everyone around the world knows what a camera is, and what it can do. Even if you don’t know the language, simple hand gestures and pointing to the camera, can take you far in terms of communicating what is it that you are seeking. Not understanding the language should never be an excuse to photograph an unwilling person.

#4 TRAVEL WITHOUT TAKING PICTURES

This one might ruffle some feathers out there but if possible, take the time to really travel without obsessing over capturing every minute of every day with your camera. Give yourself permission to spend time exploring your surroundings without your camera, and your body and mind will thank you for it.

#5 GO LOCAL

Supporting local businesses is an important aspect of culturally sensitive and responsible travel. Not only will it allow you to have a more meaningful and immersive cultural experience, but you will also be contributing to the local economy through these small businesses. 

Podcaster, Photographer and Writer
Karthika is the founder of a platform and podcast called CulturallyOurs. 

 

CulturallyOurs is a way for us to collectively explore, showcase and celebrate lifestyle, food, art, travel and culture from around the world. This is done through audio and visual media where personal narratives and stories are shared in the podcast, thought provoking and informative visuals and articles are shared through the journal, and immersive cultural experiences are offered through in-person retreats. 

Visit the CulturallyOurs website or the following:
Instagram | Podcast

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