Learn about the culture and customs of the region before your visit. Give maximum respect to the local culture traditions, language, religion, practices etc.
Ask permission before taking photographs of people or enter their property. Respect the privacy and dignity of everyone.
Try to participate in local festivals, events etc.
Make sure that your behaviour complies with international conventions and national, state and local laws in relation to the environment.
Try to receive services from authorised local guides for the sightseeing, local trips etc. get tourism information from authorized authorities such as tourism police, State Tourism information centre etc.
Experience the environment by walking or other environmental friendly means.
Buy locally made products and handicrafts, embroidery items, souvenirs etc. By buying local products the tourists contribute to add value to the local economy of the destination.
Whenever possible, buy local and choose tour companies, excursions and accommodation providers that are locally owned and that employ local people. Pay particular attention to your tour operator’s use of local products and construction materials.
Try to select accommodation in local houses, home stays, eco-friendly cottages etc.
Whenever possible choose a tour operator, travel agency or hotels which has written policies and proven practices to conserve natural resources including wildlife, energy, water and waste management, and which provide experienced, well-trained staff dedicated to strong principles of conservation.
Reduce or avoid the use of plastic materials. Try to use eco friendly products like paper bags, recycled plastic etc.
Should not abuse the natural resources like water, energy etc.
Follow proper waste disposal methods like use of waste bins, etc.
Reduce the number of bags, napkins and disposal cups when you eat fast food and recycle your beverage containers (many can be returned for refunds).
Do not give money to beggars. If you really want to help them, give a donation to a project, school or health centre. It is a more constructive way to help.
Respect rules and regulations, pay attention to signals and behave responsibly.
Avoid alcohol and enjoy the natural beverages.
While Boat Cruising/ Stay at Houseboat anywhere as specified in the itinerary, please do not venture out into the Lake/River/Canal without informing the crew available on the Boat/Houseboat. Please abstain from doing anything that rocks the boat. Please do not lean over the side which might distort the boat. Step-in and Step-out, only after the Boat/Houseboat is stopped, anchored and tugged properly. Take care of the children as the lake/river/canal is deeper than your imagination. Please do not swim in the lake/river/canal. WE HELP indemnifies itself from any responsibilities of any unfortunate event of death/ hospitalization of the tourists while Stay at Houseboat/Boat Cruising.
CODE OF ETHICS
FOR TRAVELERS AND TOUR OPERATORS
FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF KERALA
Tourism is today recognized as a social phenomenon which brings mankind closer to different social values, cultural heritage and customs. Successful tourism development imbibes the values of recognizing the sustainability of natural resources and the socio-cultural ethos of the land.
Kerala has inculcated several measures to be followed by tourists to sustain the pristine beauty of God's Own Country and to conserve and protect its natural bounty. The focus of promotion of tourism in Kerala is channelized with a vision that aims at sensitizing and educating tourists/visitors on various measures that has to be followed to preserve God's gift to man - Nature.
The importance of responsible tourism based on conservation-preservation is the key to Kerala's tourism policies and this is made evident in the guidelines set by Kerala Tourism for tour operators and the tourists who visit this land that has lured travelers through the centuries.
Travellers Guidelines for Responsible Tourism
- Do an in-depth research on the customs and practices of God's Own Country before you plan your visit
- Appreciate the culture of the land and its tradition
- Be polite to the native people and appreciate their habits
- Learn a few basic words of greetings and polite phrases in the native language before your visit
- Respect the diverse religious and social customs of Kerala
- Observe the local laws and codes of the land
- Try to actively involve yourself in the cultural and environmental concerns of Kerala and cooperate accordingly
- Avoid trying to purchase or own things which are not legally permissible or might be protected
- Do not force entry into prohibited or restricted areas that will disrupt the ecology or the cultural sentiments of the land
- Conserve energy by minimizing the use of fans, lights, geysers etc. whenever not required
- Avoid overuse, wastage and pollution of water, contributing to the global conservation of water resources
- Avoid littering public places and ensure that waste is disposed only in bins earmarked for the purpose
Pre-Departure Guidelines for visitors to Sanctuaries
- Maximum size of visitors group for trekking will be 9
- Guests shall not bring pets, i.e. dogs, cats etc. inside any park or reserve
- Do not collect any form of fauna or flora from any sanctuary or park
- Be aware of the negative aspects of insensitive behaviour, such as taking photographs of people without their consent or failure to observe local customs
- Do not interfere with scientific research, facilities or equipment
- Be aware of your capabilities and the dangers posed by the trip
- Dress codes to be followed
- Do not damage plants - for example by walking, driving, or landing on extensive moss beds or lichen-covered areas
- Keep noise to the minimum to avoid frightening wildlife
- Do not bring non-native plants or animals into the park
- Be aware of the location of areas that have been accorded special protection and of any restrictions regarding entry and activities that can be carried out in and around the area
- Be aware of applicable restrictions and regulations of the site
- Do not damage, remove or destroy historic sites or monuments, or any artifacts associated with them
- Please ensure that necessary permission is obtained before visiting
- Maintain a safe distance from all wildlife
- Do not stray from group
- Do not disturb any animal by making noises, flashing lights or making any sudden movements that may frighten animals
- Do not chase animals
- Be aware that too much noise disturbs the wildlife and can antagonize other visitors
- Do not damage vegetation or any fencepost, gate or signpost in the park
- Be aware that plant damage can be irreplaceable resulting in loss of feeding and breeding grounds
- Do not remove flora and fauna. Removal of these seriously disrupts the ecosystem and is illegal
- Do not buy animal products as souvenirs as this encourages further plundering of these species
- Always remain inside your accommodation at night
- Be aware that the animals are wild and can be dangerous
- Do not remain in the parks or reserves between 7 pm & 7 am unless accommodation is provided
- Do not discard any foodstuff or litter the land and water bodies
- Do not hand-feed fish and animals
- Do not feed, touch or handle birds and animals; do not approach or photograph them in ways that may cause them to alter their behaviour
- Take special care when animals are breeding or moulting
Jungle Rules - General Do's and Don'ts
- Total silence and discipline is required to spot wild animals
- Small groups are preferred
- Early mornings and late afternoons are the ideal time to visit forests
- Travelling alone is prohibited especially in the Elephant Reserves
- Do not wear colourful clothes or perfumes. Khakis, browns and greens are best suited
- Always carry drinking water, tea/coffee, snacks etc.
- Seek the assistance of a forest guard while going into the forests
- Do not disturb or tease animals
- Trekkers are advised to use jungle boots to ensure safety
- Carry a first aid kit with medicines for common ailments
- Avoid smoking
- Radios and tape recorders are to be avoided
- Do not litter the surroundings
- Respect animals and their habits
- Do not remove anything from the Sanctuary
- Carry a note pad, flash light, road maps, bus, train and airline time-tables
- Do not try to explore unfamiliar things
- Be careful during boat rides. Don't do anything that will rock the boat or endanger lives
- Do not expect to see animals all the time. Be patient
Guidelines for Tour Operators
- Prepare definite pre-departure programmes
- Awareness modules to be distributed among the tourists before their departure to the destination (This should include Culture, History, Food habits, Climate, Responsible travel tour programmes, Health care’s, Do's and Don'ts, Dress code etc. - information to be relevant, brief and communicative)
- Fix group size for all programmes taking care of the carrying capacity of the destination. Tour packages to be made according to the group size
- Detailed information to be given to tourists on arrival at the destination (continuation of the awareness programme - Interactive sessions, audiovisual presentations, Environmental films, Printed materials etc.)
- All escorted tours should have tour managers. They are responsible for ensuring that privacy and dignity of areas visited is maintained
- Prevention of cultural impacts should be part of awareness programmes (Special mention on Dress codes, Thorough filtering of tourists to sensitive areas, Handouts of culture shocks, Family binding, Customs etc. to be well communicated.)
- Promote the appreciation of religious places and respect of local culture by discouraging the purchase of religious objects or heirlooms
- Camp fire and open fires should be discouraged to prevent deforestation
- Indigenous plant saplings may be taken and tourists should be encouraged to plant them near the campsites or on the trails
- Campsites to be left clean and all non-biodegradable garbage carried back for proper disposal
- No cuttings, seeds or roots of plants should be allowed to be taken away from the sanctuaries, that is illegal in many reserves