The view from the top of the Bartolome Island in the Galapagos Archipelago The view from the top of the Bartolome Island in the Galapagos Archipelago

Responsible tourism in SA

Having witnessed the detrimental effects of overtourism around the world, priorities are shifting towards offering a more beneficial, sustainable and less-invasive form of tourism.


Viva Expeditions shares a few tips on travelling responsibly through South America.

  • Choose to stay in eco-friendly lodges – Eco-lodges are essential in destinations like the Amazon or the Galapagos Islands; there are over 100 certification schemes for accommodation sustainability. Ask providers how many locals they employ and what percentage of local produce they use.
  • Visit an indigenous community – Ethno-tours provide a source of income and stability, highlighting the conservation plight of a specific minority group.
  • Buy craft souvenirs directly from the maker – Buying souvenirs directly from the maker means much-needed funds are injected into what are often indigenous and impoverished communities.
  • Share your holiday funds – It pays to remember that in countries where the annual average salary probably corresponds to one month of ours, leaving a generous tip and not striving to bargain on everything helps local communities.
  • Respect entry fees and tourist number restrictions – Entrance fees can help local people generate income from their land, prevent tourist overcrowding and also stop the land being used for commercial gain by big business.

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