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How to travel responsibly in Asia

To us, responsible tourism is not just a buzzword; it’s always been an essential part of how we travel. Reading some simple best-practice guidelines prior to departure can make a big difference while you're away. Keep reading to find out how you can make a difference before you go, while you’re away, and on your return. You can read Selective Asia’s Responsible Travel policy in full at the bottom of this page, read more about our Wildlife Policy here, and learn more about the charities we work with here.

What you can do before you depart


Take some time to research the destinations you are travelling to before you leave home. Find out about the specifics - these could be ecological, cultural or religious - and ensure you understand how best to respect the local sensibilities.

On the Departure Lounge section of the website, you'll find information about local customs & etiquette, and responsible travel tips (your password is provided when you make a booking).


When it comes to clothing, plan carefully and think about what may be considered offensive to others. When visiting temples and historical buildings it is essential that you cover your shoulders, sometimes your entire arm, and your knees. In all but the most touristy beach resorts it is never suitable to walk the streets or eat a meal in a bikini or just a pair of shorts. When packing try to avoid carrying products that are enclosed in disposable packaging - can you leave this packaging at home? 

At home

Before you leave, these actions can make a surprising difference: 

During your Selective Asia Holiday




Caring for the environment

At your hotel:

On the streets:


Water consumption 

Reducing plastic waste, One Bottle at a Time...

Tap water in Asia is not always reliable, and bottled water is often a necessity. Although buying bottled water in Asia may not hurt your wallet, the environmental cost is far greater.

We previously developed an industry first initiative One Bottle at a Time, reducing the plastic bottles waste our operations create and providing refillable aluminium drinking bottles and carrying canisters of drinking water in our vehicles. Working with our local partners, we‘ve also introduced a scheme that allows our clients to refill their own reusable bottles from water stations at key partner hotels, as well as our portable water canisters.

Wilderness & wildlife

Sex Tourism

An unfortunate by-product of travel in some developing nations is sex tourism. Selective Asia wishes to advise all its guests to give anything of this kind a very wide berth. Enough said.  

People, Customs and Etiquette

Wow, a minefield… Asia is overflowing with customs and particular etiquette. Please try and adhere to these where possible and practical. In truth, it’s half the fun of travelling in Asia and not only will local people feel respected, they will respect you in return, allowing you to enjoy a fuller travel experience. You are in their back yard, remember. 

Religious Sites

Visitors to religious and historic sites should pay particular attention to the following: