December 7, 2023

Respect, connect, explore.
The Department of Tourism-Cordillera has offered tips on how tourists can become responsible travellers while visiting the region’s tourist destinations.
In a handout posted in its Facebook account, the DOT-Cordillera reminded tourists to respect the communities they are visiting by knowing their customs, beliefs, history, and culture. It also advised visitors to keep an open mind, be tolerant, and respect diversity.
Tourists are also reminded to connect with the locals. “In every place we go to, people live. The mutual connection can benefit you and you would learn things you would not expect,” the DOT stated.
The DOT also reminded visitors to be nice to the people, as not everyone is out there to take advantage of them. “Not everyone is trying to rip you off, so be nice and people will be nice to you too.”
To support local economy, the DOT has encouraged visitors to support local businesses by patronizing locally produced food and souvenirs and availing of tours from local tour organizers and guides rather those organized by multinational organizations.
Whenever possible, tourists may also give back and support local non-profit volunteers. “Usually, local organizations have a better understanding of what the community needs. Contact them for guidance.”
When taking photographs, the DOT reminded tourists to be ethical. “Engage with the person before taking a photo. Smile, talk, buy something, or ask nicely.”
Be an explorer. Instead of travelling to places struggling with over-tourism, the DOT also reminded tourists to go to lesser-known places, which often offer equally wonderful sights waiting to be explored.
To save and be spared from crowded destinations, tourists are advised to travel to famous destinations off-season where they can avoid the crowd, enjoy lower prices, and help the environment deal with the amount of tourists.
Tourists can also practice slow travel, which can be a challenge for those who have limited time and short days off work, but want to see a lot. The DOT however reminds: Sometimes it’s worth it to slow down, appreciate the place, and connect with the locals.”
Several municipalities are expecting an influx of tourists in line with their upcoming festivals and other tourism-related activities. – Jane B. Cadalig