[Guide] Recommending Responsible Travel Activities to our Guests

Deirdre122
Host Advisory Board Member
Stellenbosch, South Africa

[Guide] Recommending Responsible Travel Activities to our Guests

As hosts of stays and Experiences, I’m sure at some time we have all been asked by guests for recommendations of things to do in our area. Of course, there may be a lot of go-to tourist attractions and must-sees in our areas. But there may often be hidden gems we’d like to suggest to our guests along with some locations we may want to suggest to our guests to potentially avoid or skip. Examples of these would be those that exploit animals, are damaging to the environment, take work away from local communities, or disrespect local cultures. 

 

Ethical Animal Encounters : 

 

As a horse trail and wildlife guide, during both my in-person and online tours, I try to highlight to my guests the importance of doing research before supporting tourist attractions that include animals in their product offering. For domesticated working animals, like horse riding tours or dog-sledding, ask questions about their welfare - how are they cared for? How many hours do they work per day? Do they have time to rest and have access to food, water and shelter?  Do they have appropriate equipment?  Are there weight limits in place? Do they have access to veterinary care when necessary? Read other guest reviews to try and get an idea of this as guests often comment about animal welfare in their reviews.

 

Be cautious of the wildlife experiences you recommend or visit without looking into the operation procedures and their mission and vision. Not all have the animals’ best interest at heart. As a guideline, avoid places where you’re able to touch, play with, or ride wild animals, or where they are made to perform. For zoos, sanctuaries, oceanariums, and other types of animal parks - do the animals have sufficient space to move freely with other members of their own species? Do they have shelter from the elements and somewhere to retreat should they wish to hide from public eyes? Are their enclosures clean? Are wild animals being expected to perform tricks? 

 

Sustainable Business Operations

 

We aim to recommend activities that have employed sustainable practices with regards to environmental, social and economic sustainability. One of our favorite wine tasting experiences to recommend is at a neighboring wine estate that has sustainability at the forefront of their operations. They have not used pesticides in the last 14 years - instead they have a flock of ducks that are allowed to roam amongst the vines to eat the bugs. They’ve implemented rain water harvesting, and solar panels for powering the estate. To help offset their carbon footprint, they have planted over 100,000 water-conscious, indigenous trees, involving the local community by having their farm workers grow young saplings in recycled milk containers, and then buying them back at 1 year old and planting them out into the wildlife reserve, an area set aside to rebuild a conservation initiative. They also have an Early Childhood Development Centre to provide education to the children of the farm workers, and a medical clinic to provide healthcare.

 

Supporting Local Communities & Boosting the Local Economy

 

Here’s what we do to promote local communities :

  • Recommend Airbnb Experiences in your area 
  • Buy locally made souvenirs versus mass-produced imported souvenirs
  • Use local, qualified guides and drivers for tours
  • Support local restaurants and shops
  • Visit cultural and heritage sites to foster an appreciation and respect of the local community
  • Suggest (or serve) locally produced wines, food and other delicacies.

 

Accessibility Considerations for Guests with Mobility Disabilities : 

 

Access for people with mobility disabilities and others with reduced mobility is one of the pillars of responsible tourism. The search for accessibility details of an establishment  is often a great challenge for guests with accessibility needs. We try to help relieve some of these planning challenges by sourcing and sharing the accessibility information of  restaurants, places of interest and experiences in our area in advance.

 

Responsible tourism practices are the responsibility of both service providers in creating sustainable business practices, as well as travelers taking responsibility for their travel choices. We can play our part in making informed suggestions for our guests. There is so much information on this online, so it’s a good idea to spend some time familiarizing ourselves on how we can best contribute to responsible and sustainable tourism in our specific areas. The above are just a few points for thought.


The article is written based on my own personal experiences and opinions as a Host.

6 Replies 6
Ethan312
Level 2
Raymond, KS

Thank you for your insight.  I have tried to accommodate individuals with recommendations to nearby Airbnb when my place is not available.

when traveling  I look at what other Airbnb ‘s provide and ways I can improve.  


 

Aimee224
Level 2
Elk Park, NC

@Deirdre122 I agree that providing a sample of the local community by suggesting places to visit, shop, dine and explore. I have a guide book on my listing that provides local dining recommendations and nearby places to visit. Also a sample of local products such as wine, produce, cheese or other items is a nice touch for guests. 

Michelle3844
Level 1
Des Moines, IA

@Deirdre122 , thank you, it was a good read and yes, I suggest nature activities since our area is known for it.

Toni5760
Level 1
Long Beach, CA

@Deirdre122  this was a great read and very informative. Thank you for reminding me that this is so important to implement in our daily life as well as work. 

@Deirdre122  Gracias por tan valiosa información e n cualquier momento que llegue a suceder, ya  sabré como actuar.

[Translation added by Community Manager]
@Deirdre122 
Thank you for such valuable information. Any time it happens, I will know how to act.

Daniel1651
Host Advisory Board Member
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

Thank you so much, @Deirdre122 , for sharing your incredibly insightful and highly relevant thoughts!

 

All the points you've highlighted are precisely what every host should be absolutely mindful of when opening the doors to our homes.

 

We're not just hosts of our property; we are, in essence, the dedicated ambassadors of our environment, and it's our duty not just to value it but passionately protect it.

 

Kudos on your article—it truly deserves a celebration.

 

Blessings ❤️