Code of Ethics

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General code of ethics: Awareness, Respect and Responsibilities

  1. Cultural responsibility: Respect historic sites and be aware of the actual and potential impact of tourism on cultural heritage.
  2. Environmental responsibility: Assess environmental impact, manage natural diversity and, where appropriate, restore it. Minimize negative impacts and maximize positive ones. Do not trade products that are made from endangered species (flora or fauna).
  3. Economic responsibility: Employ local community members to deliver services to clients. Promote benefit sharing to maximize local economic benefits. Market tourism in ways that reflect the natural, cultural and social integrity of the destination.
  4. Social responsibility: Assess social impacts to minimize the negative and maximize the positive. Actively involve the local community.

Specific Code of Ethics

Communities

  • Educate and brief all community members on this code of conduct and make code of ethics available to all members.
  • Be hospitable to visitors and help tourists when in need.
  • Cultural exchange and sharing: interact with visitors on a personal level to engage in social & cultural exchanges.
  • Keep the community and tourism spaces clean and at a high sanitary level; implement waste management systems and recycle when possible.
  • Learn about your community’s history and culture and present your community with pride and confidence.
  • Increase environmental awareness and natural resource conservation among all community members.
  • Continuously develop Human Resources skills for the community and create clear responsibilities within the CBT programs.
  • Create a strong first AND second level management.
  • Share benefits:
    • Give opportunities to women & men to share work / activities.
    • Create a community fund to contribute to infrastructure and community development.
    • Provide a perspective for the younger generation.

Developers

  • Assess economic impacts before developing tourism. Prioritize development that benefits local communities, and minimize negative impacts on local livelihoods.
  • Assist small, community-based enterprises in achieving the appropriate quality standards.
  • Choose accommodation owned, built, and staffed by local people, which are compatible with local traditions and minimize negative environmental impact.
  • Determine the size of community groups that can be welcomed for planned activities without negatively impacting locals’ daily life.
  • Raise the capacity of all stakeholders and ensure that best practice is followed.
  • Improve tourism offers and itineraries.
  • Develop workforce competency and knowledge of their own identity and history.
  • Integrate culture and heritage into tourist programs.
  • Train tour guides and develop the awareness of people interacting with tourists.

Government & Local Authorities

  • Police and other official bodies shall ensure the safety of visitors and community members and address incidents in a professional and respectful way.
  • Support community development programs and explain local policies and development goals to the CBT management to maximize the VBT programs’ impact.
  • Undertake efforts to prevent negative and irresponsible behavior.
  • Encourage confidence and advocacy in the community.
  • Educate all CBT members about environmental awareness.

Operators

  • Respect the culture and customs of the people whose communities you visit.
  • Educate and brief your staff on this code of conduct and be sure that they are familiar with it.
  • Inform the communities of your visit beforehand, coordinate visits to communities well and arrange meetings and itineraries with the community prior to your visit.
  • Provide all visitors a thorough cultural briefing, including information on local customs and traditions and on appropriate behavior for tourists in the area.
  • Create and use local “Codes for Tourists” to make sure that visitors respect sites. Ensure that your clients follow the Codes.
  • Follow protected area guidelines for entrance fees and concessions. Hire community members and community-based enterprises wherever possible.
  • Encourages customers to make contributions to support conservation projects.
  • Do not engage in any competitive activities that may result in an adverse effect on the communities or VCBT-N members.
  • Limit the size of groups, or divide groups into smaller ones when visiting protected areas.
  • Provide customers with opportunities to proactively support protected areas.