The Ten Commandments of Eco-Tourism

How to have a great time and leave your destination in better shape than you found it

provided by the American Society of Travel Agents

The Eco-tourism Society, a non- profit group based in Vermont, defines eco-tourism as "responsible travel which conserves environments and sustains the well-being of local people." Whether your destination is as close as the Anza-Borrego State Park or as far as the Australian outback, these simple rules will help preserve the local ecosystems so they will be there for others to enjoy ... and for your next visit.

1 Respect the frailty of the earth. Realize that unless all are willing to help in its preservation, unique and beautiful destinations may not be here for future generations to enjoy.

2 Leave only footprints. Take only photographs. No graffiti! No Litter! Don not take away ≥souvenirs≤ from historical sites and natural areas.

3 To make your travels more meaningful, educate yourself about the geography, customs, manners and cultures of the region you visit. Take time to listen to the people. Encourage local conservation efforts.

4 Respect the privacy and dignity of others. Inquire before photographing people.

5 Do not buy products made from endangered plants or animals, such as ivory, tortoise shell, animal skins and feathers. Read Know Before You Do, the U.S. Customs list of products which cannot be imported.

6 Always follow designated trails. Do not disturb animals, plants or their natural habitats.

7 Learn about and support conservation-oriented programs and organizations working to preserve the environment.

8 Whenever possible, walk or utilize environmentally-sound methods of transportation. Encourage drivers of public vehicles to stop engines when parked.

9 Patronize those (hotels, airlines, resorts, cruise lines, tour operators and suppliers) who advance energy and environmental conservation; water and air quality; recycling; safe management of waste and toxic materials; noise abatement; community involvement; and which provide experienced, well-trained staff dedicated to strong principles of conservation.

10 Encourage organizations to subscribe to ASTA Environmental Guideline. ASTA encourages organization to adopt their own environmental codes to cover special sites and ecosystems