Join a community of ethical travellers. Please read the Code of Ethics then scroll down to the very bottom of the page and sign your name (Name, Country, Comment) in the ‘Leave a Reply’ field.

Today I will commit to the notion that when traveling I will see myself as the privileged guest and ambassador of my own country. I will take responsibility for my actions and accept that every choice I make has both its adverse consequences and positive outcomes. Thus, with integrity, humility and genuine desire, I will foster and promote a more ethical style of travel by:

Cultivating an Exchange of Knowledge by:

  • Researching the destination’s culture, customs, language, religions, history, geography, and people before arriving;
  • Continually make an effort to learn the language while I am visiting;
  • Sharing information to my hosts and other travelers about my home country’s characteristics, customs, geography, people, and language(s).

Contributing to and Promoting Ethical and Environmentally Friendly Alternatives by:

  • Supporting only local initiatives, and participating in those tourism products that are local and / or aim to support the local community economically and through social programs (this includes tour companies, hotels, and restaurants);
  • Purchasing goods that are produced and sold locally at a fair price and assuring that those good are not products of illegal activities and / or important symbols of the host’s culture;
  • Reducing my environmental footprint through maintaining a conscious awareness of how my actions will affect the host’s valuable resources.

Volunteering and Social Activism by:

  • Promising to make an effort to participate, at my own expense, in activities that aim to restore and preserve the environment as well as those that aid or bring an extra bit of happiness to those less fortunate;
  • Advocating those companies and organizations who support and provide ethical and community based tourism products and services;
  • Making a stand against sex tourism, through reporting any illegal activities to local authorities and supporting those projects that have put forth the effort to fight against it.

Protecting and Respecting Culture by:

  • Researching and practicing cultural etiquettes to the highest level of my ability, as well as, teaching and informing other travelers around me;
  • Using my camera in a way that is sensitive to the peoples and cultures around me. Further I promise to never take a picture of someone without politely asking first;
  • Being aware that in my pursuit to find something ‘untouched by tourism’ I may be the one stretching the boundaries of tourism’s negative impacts and harmful effects.

~ Commit by filling in the fields below with your name, where you’re from, and, if you wish, leaving a comment. Thank you!

We would like to acknowledge the following organizations for their support of the Tourist Code of Ethics by integrating it into what they do!

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  1. Chris Carnovale, Canada. Definitely not an easy task, but I will do my best. Wouldn’t it be great if tourism private sector adopted this tourist code of ethics and presented it to their clients?!

  2. I am a dental professor at a college from Ontario Canada. I am planning to visit SaPa with a group of dental students next March. This site is very informative and provides the students with some very valuable information. We plan on supporting local communities through dental education and prevention to the less fortunate while there. I will make sure to pass this information on to the students involved so they are aware of the practices of cultural etiquette in Vietnam. We are very much looking forward to our visit to Vietnam.

    • Glad to hear our site has been helpful to you, Cindy. It was created by some of the students from Capilano U who have been involved in the project in a variety of ways. Part of what we are hoping to do is share information with people traveling to the region so they can make the most of their time there and have a better understanding of the people. If you will be working in Ta Phin, Lao Chai or Ta Van you will likely meet many of our friends there! Good luck with your project.

    • Hello Cindy;

      Excellent to hear that you and your students will be visiting Sa Pa next year. Very soon we will be uploading a documentary video of our project in the village of Ta Phin. It does a nice job of profiling the community with some stunning images. I hope that your group has a chance to take a peek.

      Thanks again for your interest and best of luck with your trip!

      The CBT Viet Nam team.

  3. I think the main thing is to remember what it is about the place you are visiting that first attracted you, and whether your actions are doing anything to maintain that quality.

  4. Matthew Moir, Canada.

  5. Canada

  6. I believe that every traveller should be aware that the cultural norms that they are used to are different from other cultures. Sounds like common sense but many people don’t get this simple truth. Educating yourself on where your going will only enhance your trip.

  7. Sultanate of Oman

  8. Whistler, BC, Canada
    Ontario, Canada

  9. A code of ethics is great to give travellers a guidline to keep us mindful! Lillooet, BC, Canada

  10. Jase Wilson, Squamish Canada.

  11. Embracing new cultures while travelling is what it’s all about. Our way is not the only way, nor is it the best way. It’s important to let the beauty of the people and their ways educate us in ways we never thought possible.

  12. Traveling is like being in the Olympics. We want to represent our country by displaying a great image by being mindful travelers.

  13. …no comment…..just the feeling that around the world there are good people like you that gives me the hope of a better world for our sons in the future!…God bless you!

  14. Beauport (Québec)

  15. The kind people I met while in Ta Phin will always hold a special place in my heart. May this code of conduct go to support their efforts and the efforts of those cultivating an exchange of story & place through responsible tourism around the world.

    Jackie Challis, Canada.

  16. I agree with Chris Carnovale about the Private Sector adopting the Tourism Code of Ethics. I also Agree completely with Dawn Morrison’s Comments and Views!

  17. Canada (Quebec)
    Great initiative!

  18. Kuujjuaq (QC)

  19. Rimouski (Québec)

  20. Here here to the above comments. Visiting other cultures and learning about them enriches our own lives. Travel is part of a life long journey of education and experience.
    Soak it up and remember to feel privileged to have had the opportunity.

  21. Vancouver, BC, Canada

  22. I’m a Vietnamese, but not a Hanoi Open University student, can I join this community?

  23. Victor , Honduras-Canada

    It is really important this kind of codes designed for tourists, I currently work with CUSOVSO in Honduras working with best practices in sustainable tourim and ecocertifications, but lets not forget the other side, who will guarantee or guide us finding these local or community based tourism options?. These work is usually not as easy as it looks like. An international organization, government agency or another endorsement should be available for the common tourist

    • Hi Victor,

      Thanks for committing to the Code of Ethics!

      We would be interested in hearing about your work and the kinds of things you are doing. I follow the work of CUSOVSO – they have a lot of great things going on around the world!

      Finding an external endorsement is very challenging – there are so many different possibilities for external endorsement right now, particularly in the ecotourism industry. Many certification options are questionable because they rely on self-reporting of tourism companies rather than an external audit or review of a company’s practices. In addition, they can be costly to get so some smaller companies with excellent practices may choose not to participate because they don’t have the budget to spend on that type of activity.

      These are definitely things the industry needs to address! I certainly agree with you that a common certification would allow tourists to more easily make a choice between two companies offering similar services. Until that time, hopefully we can help tourists become more aware of the impacts of their actions and ask them to make conscious choices when traveling.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!


  24. A very descriptive and meaningful Code of Ethics – well done! Hopefully more and more people will travel with these values.

    • Thanks, Judy! Your work has been one of the contributions that has led to this current project and the work we are doing! Glad to see you here!

  25. Thanks for this great initative, there is a tremendous ammount of damage done by tourism, sex tourism ruins lives, ECPAT and ABTA do a course called Every Child Everywhere, they have a example reporting form also. The course is in three parts and free…we have our own child protection policy,environment and fairtrade policy, we are trying to do the right thing but it is not so easy… any initative that promotes a more sustainable tourist industry and a better world gets my vote

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