How can we be responsible tourists?


#1

In many Italian destinations, tourists and travelers have a reputation for being overly disruptive to the people who live and work there. For example, Venice has so many tourists who are only concerned about their own vacation that Venetians have a hard time going about their day. In fact, the situation has gotten so bad that UNESCO is considering putting Venice on its Endangered World Heritage Sites list. So what can we do to become responsible tourists?


#2

I think respecting privacy for one. Don’t go filming everything and taking pictures of everything. That is a start. Then there is an issue with litter and property disrespect. Don’t act like a piggy. If you wouldn’t like groups of people from other countries coming to where you live and doing “said thing” don’t do it in Italy!


#3

Always be considerate of local habits and customs. When you go to Italy (or any other place), read up about things, see what is accepted and what is not accepted.
Be at your best behaviour at all times and show respect to all.

I always say, don’t do anything that you wouldn’t do at home.

Also, learn a few words of Italian, people always appreciate it when they know you’ve taken the time to do this.


#4

Living in a tourist town, I understand completely. We deal with increased traffic in the summer time as well as increased trash and litter. We can’t get in our local restaurants because of the crowds. We generally just hunker down and wait for the fall and winter. I can’t imagine having to deal with this all year round. Just be considerate of the natives. That would help greatly.


#5

Yes tourists can be pretty bad anywhere a tourist goes but I did not know how bad it is in Italy. People need to learn how to respect other people and a different country. Learn the laws of that country otherwise you could be in more trouble then you thought.


#6

Americans have a bad reputation as tourists. Many of our young people were simply not taught how to respect others and they think that they are the only one that matters. My daughter was raised with old values and even though the laws are trying to keep us from disciplining them, I had a certain amount of discipline for my kid. If she acts like a heathen then she gets treated that way. Some might not agree with this however, I will not allow my progeny to disrespect others and the rights of others. What ever it takes.


#7

I am glad to read this. Kids these days are treated like thoughtless animals that don’t know any better. They need to have a more rounded and traditional upbringing in order to become respectable and hard working adults.


#8

I can’t imagine what is like to live in a tourist city! Tourists can be very inconsiderate especially if they act like this is the time of their life and party like is the end of the world. When you find a balance and when you are respectful of the place and the people - all should be fine.


#9

There’s some good advice here: Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do at home, treat everybody with respect, etc. Basically the common sense which lots of toursts seem to lose when on holiday. The harder one to do is respect the local culture. I would say try to read up about it, and if you have any doubts, make a post on this forum about it, people really seem to know their stuff here :).


#10

Oh boy, I 100% agree with you! It must be difficult to live somewhere and have tourists roaming the streets all day, every day. Unless you have a business that needs tourists to ‘survive’, living in an Italian touristy city must be quite stressful.

But I think if more tourists would use common sense, like Boron12 said, things would be different. I get that respecting a culture you’re not familiar with is difficult, but common sense still applies, just like everywhere else.


#11

The City of Venice shared these simple rules and invite tourists to follow them as to make life easier for Venetians and the experience more fulfilling for visitors http://veneziaautentica.com/this-is-what-the-city-of-venice-wants-you-to-know-before-coming-to-venice/


#12

Interesting, I didn’t know they have a page with rules! However, it seems to me like every single rule they presented is just common sense. It’s like Venice is saying “enjoy the city, and let others enjoy it as well”.


#13

I enjoyed the cartoons, extremely well-made. The way you present such common sense rules as @Rose has put it is very important in how they are received. The quality of the cartoons helps a lot. A piece of paper simply listing the rules would never have the same positive effect.


#14

So true!
I wish more cities would make an effort to do something similar.
A piece of paper can only do so much. At the very most, you get “threatened” with a fine… Well that’s not going to stop vandalism in Italian touristy cities :frowning:


#15

Be respectful and remember that you’re in a different country that although shares many similarities to Western society, it is still a different country!


#16

I think this is the biggest one… I found when chatting with locals they are happy to discuss local culture but are caught off guard if you start asking personal details right away


#17

In regards to filming and taking pictures, I must admit I do it all the time.

If there is a sign saying it’s prohibited, then of course I respect the rule. But if I don’t see a sign anywhere that stops me from making memories, I will take a photo of everything that moves (or doesn’t).

When you take photos and post them on social media, you’re basically doing free advertising. I don’t see why this would be a bad thing. But yeah, there are Italian places where they don’t even let you take a selfie.