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Photo: Lisa Schopper
Photo: Lisa Schopper

Watch out for human rights when travelling – the role of tour guides

Leading, communicating, mediating – tour guides are the interface between travellers and locals, between two often very different cultures. Thus tour guides bear a great responsibility with regard to the handling of human rights – a new booklet of Naturefriends International supports them in this.

The role of tourism in relation to climate change is currently the subject of intense debate. And rightly so, as there is now no question that the rapidly growing tourism industry is increasingly becoming a climate killer and that climate-friendly tourism offers urgently need to be promoted. But social issues must not be forgotten, above all respect for human rights in tourism. This is a challenge for everyone - the travel industry and the travellers themselves.

Tour guides have an important role to play. They guide travellers through a country or - in the case of local guides - through their homeland, they tell about cultural and natural features and are the interface between travellers and locals, between two often very different cultures. They are usually the first point of contact for a wide variety of questions and often also the ones who can react immediately to the behaviour of the travellers.
 
Tour guides also bear a great responsibility when it comes to human rights - and the new booklet of Naturefriends International is intended to help them do just that!
The focus is on questions from practice: As a tour guide, how can I contribute to respect for human rights in the travel destinations? Where could I be confrontated with human rights violations in my capacity as a tour guide? How can I bring the topic of human rights closer to my customers – without moralizing? What should I do if I notice human rights violoations by partners or local actors involved?

In addition to a lot of clearly prepared information, there are also links to further websites and reading tips for all those who want to deal more intensively with the topic "Human Rights in Tourism".