Global Citizenship- Basket weaver in a Colombian village. Photo: Tonya Fitzpatrick

“Learn to do common things uncommonly well; we must always keep in mind that anything that helps full the dinner pail is valuable.”

― George Washington Carver

What does it mean to be a responsible traveler?   It means much more than just traveling light, recycling plastic bottles or even reusing your hotel bath towels.  Those things are great first steps but being a responsible traveler is a “heart action”.

Social responsibility has given a new dimension to tourism and people are indeed acting responsibly & changing the way they travel . A social responsible traveler has a heart for people.  He/she ensures that negative social, economic and environmental impacts are minimized and that positive footprints that enhance economic benefits for local people and host communities are the only thing left behind.

Bottom line, a social responsible traveler is a global citizen and ambassador for humanity. Whenever you visit any new place be aware of the impact of your actions and reactions, choose social responsibility and contribute in a positive way.


Grinnell Lake from Grinnell Glacier Trail. Photo: Ali Wunderman

Glacier National Park: A beautiful place with an ugly history

By Ali Wunderman

It’s been a tough summer living right next to Glacier National Park. With international borders closed to U.S. travelers, Americans have set their sights on road tripping the national parks, especially in places of low population density, and by extension low COVID-19 cases.   Read more

United States History Social Responsibility
volcanoes national park at sunset

Exploring the Depths of Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park

By Michael Fil

Lush rainforest and land transformed for millions of years by volcanic activity, all spread across 520 square miles of protected space. Welcome to Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park!   Read more

United States Adventure History Social Responsibility
Photo courtesy of McLeod Plantation Historical Site

A South Carolina Plantation Shows Us the Way Forward

By Erica Chatman

It is no secret to anyone that tourism is a major industry and draw for Charleston, South Carolina. However, on my most recent visit, I became a fan of their county parks because of one particular experience. I visited MacLeod Plantation Historic Site.     Read more

United States History Social Responsibility
A street in Mumbai's Dharavi Slum--one of the largest in Asia. Photo: Bianca Caruana (with permission from Be The Local Tours)

A Walking Tour Highlighting a Mumbai Slum’s Innovative Industry

By Bianca Caruana

Dharavi, in central Mumbai, is considered one of the largest slums in Asia, but deep within this neighborhood, below the shanty grey roofs, loosely comprised of scavenged, upcycled metal, lives a resourceful and innovative community that plays an imperative role in Mumbai’s city-wide waste management.   Read more

India Off the Beaten Path Social Responsibility
Candi Plaosan, also known as the 'Plaosan Complex', is one of the Buddhist temples located in Bugisan village, Java, Indonesia.

An Indonesian Village that Changed its Fate with the Internet

By Rose Munday

When it comes to Indonesia, you might wonder how islands like Java can compete with the likes of Bali.   Read more

Asia Technology Social Responsibility
Volungearing photo by Bianca Caruana

Volungearing: A New Way to Do Good

By Bianca Caruana

A new kind of volunteer tourism has entered the travel industry with an innovative approach; Volungearing, conceived by TribesForGOOD, taps an individual’s skills to pair him or her successfully in the social impact sector.   Read more

Asia Volunteer Travel Social Responsibility
Mapuche house in Chile #Indigenous #heritage

Chilean Tourism and the Indigenous Mapuche

By Leijia Hanrahan

The regions of Biobío and Araucanía, which lie somewhere in the middle of the 2,653 miles that stretch from Chile’s top to bottom, are nevertheless known as “the south.”   Read more

Central and South America Indigenous Social Responsibility
An example of unethical animal tourism. Riding an elephant in Thailand.

Animal Cruelty for Tourists’ Entertainment: An Industry in Need of Reform

By Bianca Caruana

As selfies with tigers, primates and other wild species front Instagram and Facebook feeds, tourists are now forced to question the morals and ethics of their encounters with captive animals.   Read more

The World Insights Social Responsibility
Burundi village

A Burundian Lesson in Hospitality

By Breana Johnson

It’s evening in the small African nation of Burundi, and the waning sun throws shadows over the city of Bujumbura. In the old Land Rover, we bump and jostle our way through the crowded dirt roads of the capital. Before we left the mission station where my husband’s family lives, … Read more   Read more

Africa Off the Beaten Path Social Responsibility
Montana wild bison

Responsible and Cultural Travel in Montana

By Tara Tadlock

Whitewater rafting in crystal clear waters. Horseback riding through the tall prairie grass. Purple mountains as the backdrop for local craft breweries. Sounds like a dream, but it’s actually Montana.   Read more

United States Adventure Off the Beaten Path Social Responsibility
View of the elephant's tusk

TODAY IN HISTORY: National Geographic Society is founded (Jan. 27, 1888)

On January 13, 1888, a small group of explorer and scientists, 33 in all, gathered at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC. (A place where DC members of the famed Explorers Club, including World Footprints, meet today.) They proposed to organize a society “to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge while … Read more   Read more

United States History Social Responsibility
Philippines Limb Kind cover Photo: Matilde Simas

Bringing Mobility and Hope to the Philippines

By Jessica Barrett

Creating 19 prosthetic limbs for 13 children in under a week might seem like a daunting task, but Robert Schulman has never shied away from a challenge. The certified prosthetist and founder of US-based nonprofit Limb Kind Foundation arrived in Davao City, Philippines in September with a team of 11 … Read more   Read more

Asia Accessible Volunteer Travel Social Responsibility
Choeung Ek - a Killing Field in Cambodia

Dark Tourism in Cambodia: Exploitation and Cultural Insensitivity

By Tara Tadlock

Over four years in the early 1970s, Cambodia, a Southeast Asian country now frequented by backpacking tourists, faced one of the worst human atrocities imaginable– a state-sponsored genocide wiping out one-third of the nation’s population.   Read more

Asia Insights Social Responsibility
Flag raising on September 11 at World Trade Center

SPECIAL: Remembering 9/11

World Footprints commemorates the anniversary of the terrifying attack that changed the world and brought heroes to the front-line. You will hear from survivors their first-hand account of the events as they experienced them.   Read more

United States History Social Responsibility
Photo of Kenyan woman by David Murphy NOTM

Kenya Embraces Sustainable Tourism As The New Normal

By Bianca Caruana

Since 2013, tourism has expanded and evolved in the region, welcoming a more sustainable narrative — one far more inclusive of a positive social and environmental impact than at any time in Kenya’s tourism history.   Read more

Africa Social Responsibility