Retail & sales

Community impact

The behaviour of tourists, who sometimes lack knowledge of and respect for local traditions, customs and religion, can have negative impacts on local communities.

What might be a part of everyday life and custom in one’s home country, may be seen as offensive in another place. Issues such as how to dress appropriately, if and where to consume alcohol and drugs, how to behave in religious or sacred sites, how and where to take pictures, or how to act as a couple in public, are seen differently in different cultures. Unsensitive or offensive behaviour often occurs because visitors do not have adequate knowledge and understanding of their travel destinations. Retail and sales companies should provide customers with relevant information or encourage them to inform themselves about local habits in destination countries.

For many tourists, taking pictures is an indispensable component of their holiday. It can, however, offend people in destination countries, e.g. when the photographer neglects or violates communities’ rights to privacy, takes pictures of people (especially children) without their consent, or views local traditions through the camera lens in a voyeuristic way. Retail and sales companies should sensitize their customers on how to behave appropriately when taking pictures in a destination country.

Increasing tourism: Myanmar
Disrespectful behaviour: Bali
Climbing Uluru: Australia
Increasing tourism: Myanmar

High demand for hotel and tourism infrastructure construction in Myanmar has led to rising land prices, making it unaffordable for local communities. Hotel construction is also threatening Myanmar's heritage sites. It was alleged that permission given to build hotels in regions where cultural preservation laws apply was the result of corruption. 

Disrespectful behaviour: Bali

Disrespectful behaviour in Bali’s Hindu temples

The local authorities in Bali are planning to introduce new rules for visiting the island’s estimated 10,000 temples, after tourists were showing disrespectful behaviour at the sites, including posing for pictures in bikinis or climbing sacred temple structures.

Climbing Uluru: Australia

The board of the Australian national park in which Uluru is located, unanimously voted to ban climbing on the rock from October 2019. The red monolith is a sacred site for the Aboriginal people, who have for a long time asked tourists not to climb it. Already before this decision, customers were requested not to climb the mountain, but only some tour operators have informed their customers accordingly.

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Take action

Communication and reporting

Find more information on potential measures to take on the "take action" site. 

Learn more

Find more information in the Resource Centre.