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Responsible Travel Tips
 
Red Dot has a deep affection for Sri Lanka and we hope that you will join us in encouraging the development of a tourism industry that is socially responsible, fair for its local communities, and is environmentally sustainable. We have drawn up a simple, but by no means exhaustive list of travel tips that we believe will help achieve these important objectives.

Environmental Responsibility: Help conserve this beautiful tropical island with its myriad of natural landscapes, exotic birds and animals. Help reduce your ecological footprint.

  • Don’t waste water. Don’t leave taps running. Use showers instead of baths and reuse your towels.

  • Don’t waste electricity. Remember to turn off lights, fans and TVs. Open your windows and enjoy the ocean breeze and tropical sun. Consider sleeping without a/c.

  • Consider using public transport, especially the train, for some journeys.

  • Recycle & reuse. Say no to plastic bags especially when shopping for small items. Reuse your plastic bags or buy a cloth bag which is freely available.

  • Do not pollute. Throw rubbish in litter bins. Take a bag when trekking to pick up litter.

  • Do not purchase any souvenirs made of coral, ivory, turtle shell or any other animal product or from Sri Lanka’s dwindling natural habitats.

  • Protect the reefs that surround this paradise island and their inhabitants. While snorkelling or diving, do not touch or break any coral and marine animals you see such as the marine turtles. Some shells may even be poisonous.

  • Protect the endangered marine turtles. You may be lucky enough to see a turtle nesting at night on the beach. Do not flash a torch light or create noise which will disturb the turtle when laying her eggs. Do not touch turtle eggs or hatchlings.

  • Protect the Whales & Dolphins. When going on a whale & dolphin spotting excursion, please use a reputed tour operator such as Mirissa Water sports that keeps to internationally accepted guidelines ensuring that these magnificent marine mammals are not adversely impacted by commercial tourism. Some of the other tour operators maybe cheaper, but tends to conduct their business in a way that disturbs and harasses these giant animals. In addition, they may not take the necessary safety precautions for this boating excursion which goes in about 6 – 8 miles into the deep seas.


  • Protect Sri Lanka’s Wildlife. Remember the jungles belong to the animals. Do not invade their privacy. Observe silently and stay inside your jeep while on safari. Stepping outside of your vehicle in the close vicinity of wild animals is extremely dangerous. Do not feed wild animals such as monkeys and wild elephants. This can result in habituating them to humans and cause the animals to become dangerous.

  • While on safari inside the National Parks, please ask your jeep driver and wildlife guide to stick to the speed limits and put the safety of the animals first as this prevents animals from getting killed. Discourage jeep drivers getting you to an interesting animal sighting at any cost. Speeding vehicles most often also reduces the quality of the sightings for you and other visitors to the park. We at Red Dot do our best to ensure we utilise the best guides and drivers who adhere to the rules and regulations within the National Parks, but at times over enthusiasm on their part can have disastrous effects.


Social Responsibility: Sri Lanka’s ancient culture dates back to over 2,500 years. Help preserve the island’s cultural heritage and traditions.

  • Help the local farmers and fisherman. Enjoy local food cooked with village vegetables and fresh seafood.

  • Stay in local guesthouses and hotels that are eco-friendly and provides employment to villagers.

  • Help preserve the local culture and traditions. Dress modestly in public places and religious site. Avoid topless sunbathing.

  • Respect religious practices. Do not openly consume alcohol on Buddhist holidays (Poya Days). Do not pose for photographs on religious sites and don’t ever touch a holy man.

  • Do not buy any ancient artifacts that may have been stolen from a historical site.

  • Be tolerant and courteous. Sri Lankan people are known for their bright smiles, warm hospitality and laid back lifestyle. Enjoy a cup of tea or drink when offered. Always ask permission before taking pictures of people. Conduct bargaining in a light-hearted and courteous manner. Try not to get too upset if things don’t always happen on time.

  • Do not encourage begging. Don’t give money or souvenirs to children or street beggars.

  • Show your gratitude. It is customary to tip waiters, housekeeping staff, drivers and guides if service is good.

We greatly appreciate your cooperation in helping preserve Sri Lanka’s natural reasures and cultural heritage
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