We believe that responsible tour operators should do more than supporting charities. To us, practicing sustainability or responsible travel means being responsible in the way that we work – it pervades what we do on a day-to-day basis.
When we first founded Enchanting Travels in 2004, we wanted to ensure that we have a positive impact on the society and environment in which we operate. We believe that when done well, tourism can be a force for good, whether it is the ability to boost local economies and support communities, or as a way to promote conservation to a wider audience. This belief has always been entrenched in our company vision. To make your travel dreams come true and facilitate journeys to different parts of our amazing planet, it is important to us that we and our guests make a positive contribution to the people and places visited along the way.
We do not claim perfection – and we would question any others who do. We acknowledge that to be a modern-day traveler being “eco-friendly” is impractical, as every step leaves a footprint, however we do value being “eco-considerate”.
Join us on our journey today to make a better world for tomorrow.
Acting Responsibly as a Tour Operator
What is Responsible Travel?
Responsible Travel is a journey – not a destination.
Tourism matters. For every vacation you take, you are contributing in ways that you might not have considered. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, tourism contributes a massive 10% of the world’s GDP, directly and indirectly, and accounts for one in every 10 jobs globally. Enchanting Travels is committed to Responsible Travel. We want our trips to benefit the host communities and preserve cultural heritage, while having a minimal impact on the natural environment – for this purpose, we aim to continuously engage with our staff, our partners and you, our guests.
Responsible Travel in Action
Is Responsible Travel an oxymoron? We believe not. Through our involvement we work hard to ensure our trips are as responsible as possible, through a considered approach that includes continued communications and global and local initiatives.
Responsible Travel starts with awareness, and we focus on five key areas.
1. Responsible Travel Experiences
We strive to facilitate enriching and in many cases life-changing experiences for our guests, by seeking to understand our guests’ travel dreams and address these with our tailor-made itineraries. This is backed up by regularly testing our travel destinations and providing personalized concierge type support to our guests before and during their trip through our team of dedicated Trip Coordinators.
In addition, we aim to promote Responsible Travel experiences that …
facilitate mutually enriching encounters with local people
directly benefit local communities / community projects
directly benefit local conservation projects and contribute to conservation of endangered animals or habitats
create awareness among guests about local communities and culture
We consider ourselves purveyors of exotic destinations, yet when we choose to offer a particularly country or region, we do so with a lot of consideration. read more
There’s a whole world of accommodation that thinks out of the box. Allow us to introduce you to a few of our favorite examples! read more
Travel for Everyone
Travel opens up new horizons and offers brand new perspectives. We believe that no one should be denied this, certainly not our guests. We ensure that our guests travel to the most beautiful destinations in the world and feel safe and secure along the journey. read more
Protecting the Wild in the Wildlife
We are always seeking out responsible experiences that all you to appreciate and support the natural world. We believe that when executed well, safaris can provide substantial education to people of all ages. read more
Enchanting Travels believes in the importance in climate protection which is why we are open to discussing the challenges faced, and are transparent with our guests. read more
We aim to facilitate insightful and eye-opening experiences for you, connecting with humankind at a deeper level, where you’re embracing unfamiliar territory, and learning something completely new about a culture or environment, as well as about yourself. read more
2. Supporting Sustainable Partners
We are committed to establishing respectful, economically fair, trustworthy and mutually beneficial long-term partner relationships, instilling the importance of strong ethical values. We strive to only work with partners who support community and conservation projects, minimize their environmental impact and treat their staff the way we would want to be treated. Every day we work with our hand-picked partners who supportive a more equitable playing field for men and women within the travel industry. read more
What we do
Partner training and development
Sharing guest feedback constructively
Above standard pay rates for chauffeurs and guides
Your vacation is never just a vacation – it’s a gift to the communities you encounter. Enchanting Travels is committed to creating a positive impact on the societies within which we operate. read more
Spotlight on Dunia Camp in the Serengeti
Every day we work with our hand-picked partners who supportive a more equitable playing field for men and women within the travel industry.If you wish to see strong women in action, then look no further than Dunia Camp in the Serengeti. This camp is often dubbed “Angels of the Serengeti, as the female manager, Angel Vendeline Namshali, who was born on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, runs the only all-female camp in the region. It was not the intention for the camp to be all-female, it just happened organically. This is particularly impressive as Tanzania has a typically patriarchal and male-dominated culture, as Angel explains.
“They thought that we will be very scared with animals, and we can’t cooperate and work as one – they were not looking to the positive side of a woman! Women can do anything that can be done by any other person in this world. By having an all-woman camp has proved that we have a lot of women out there with the capacity and interest to work, but who lack moral and financial support.”
3. Staff Treatment
We intend to treat all our team members and partners with respect and dignity, ensuring a safe and conducive work environment and working conditions.
What we do
Fair living wages
Multicultural and cohesive teams
Adequate health insurance and maternity/paternity cover
Flexible working options for pursuing education and other personal needs
Learning and growth opportunities
Open and constructive feedback
Active team engagement
Enriching encounters and volunteering experiences
Living our Core Values
In line with this, we are guided by four Core Values that form the basis for how everyone associated with Enchanting Travels interacts with one another and which we aim to instill in everyone who comes into contact with our company. read more
Our Family Values and Management
Enchanting Travels is proud of its family values. Our founding leadership team were two couples who had the same discussions about how to best manage business and family. We respect that everyone has different needs and wishes. We want our team to feel supported in the decisions that they make when ensuring that both personal and professional lives do not need to be compromised. Having children need not hinder anyone’s career.
We are proud that the majority of our Senior Management team are female. We have talented women who manage our global Technology and Innovations team, lead our global Marketing team, head up our sales in Africa, and head up our South America and Africa office. The fact that we have women in such integral roles is not due to any specific effort to ensure more balance in leadership, merely it is the way that our business has evolved. There are benefits we see to having a gender balanced management. ]We can be more thoughtful about how we run a company that can provide female role models and mentorship, and be more thoughtful in how we can help the travel industry balance the gender divide.
Team Diversity and Engagement
We are a melting pot of cultures from an array of industries and backgrounds, where personality, passion, principles and professionalism is always prioritized over academia and experience. read more
A World of Opportunity – Our Commitment to our Team
We regularly review our HR policies and analyze living costs and salaries to see how we can ensure we are fair to our staff. We also expect the same from all our partners. read more
Enabling Personal Dreams
It takes more than just courage to follow your personal dreams: it takes a supportive environment. That’s what we strive to provide. read more
Rewarding Local Guides and Chauffeurs | Guide Awards
We feel incredibly proud that we have so many well-read, intelligent guides and dedicated, caring chauffeurs working with us and are contributing to the success of our company. read more
4. Supporting Communities
Tourism is one of the few industries that can bring people together who may not otherwise meet – in which a wealthy guest can interact with locals in a rural village.
Our Local Guides and Chauffeurs
In many of our destinations, particularly countries in Asia and Africa, we have found that the role of local guides and chauffeurs is male-dominant. We acknowledge that this is often a cultural norm that is hard to change. For example, in India, many women would not be permitted to be chauffeurs, not only because they are away from their family for often a week or two at a time during the high season, but also because the amenities for a woman on the road do not exist: chauffeur accommodation is entirely tailored to the needs of men. While we know that change can take time, we will always do all we can to support it.
For the past few years we have actively been seeking out local guides who are female, which we feel is ideal to change the often-patriarchal perspective of travel, and we know is appreciated by solo female travelers. If we cannot source female local guides in a particular destination, such as in rural areas where female guides are less prevalent, then we instead focus on delivering enriching experiences that are female-led.
We encouraging our guests to interact with the host communities and community-based organizations while maximizing the benefits to local economies and communities.
What we do
Cultural heritage preservation
Mentoring of team members
Considered guest gift sourcing
Supporting Women Entrepreneurs
When we first started speaking with our teams globally to find out what types of organizations and NGOs they wanted to support, we received an overwhelming response from both our male and female team members alike and across our offices that they wanted to support local female entrepreneurs. There was a shared belief that by supporting women would also provide opportunities for the wider community. This is why many of our NGO partners are female-focused. This belief is actually backed up by research, as more women participating within the work force results in faster economic growth, according to a 2012 report by OCED entitled Gender Equality in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship. Similarly, The World Bank highlighted that by increasing the share of household income controlled by women means that spending habits are altered in favor of children.
Supporting women entrepreneurs has more than monetary benefits; it similarly offers a chance to provide with a respectful and dignified role in their society, regardless of unequal cultural norms and access to education.
Travel helps people from all walks of life unite and appreciate each other. Enchanting Travel believes in supporting every community, to provide them with an opportunity to shine. read more
Volunteering in the Community
We encourage our team members to learn about sustainable tourism through attending local workshops and conferences, and we also invite inspiring organizations to come and talk to us about important local issues. read more
Internship and Mentorship Program
Our Africa and India offices offer internships to youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds, regardless of their geography. read more
Through the Memory Foundation, we aim to give people in remote areas in Africa who often don’t have any personal pictures a tangible memory of themselves and their loved ones. read more
Gifts with a Heart
We partner with local charitable organizations to supply us with lovingly handmade gifts that we hope that you, our guests, will treasure forever. read more
5. Greener Office and Operations
All our teams globally are committed to improving their office environments, through initiatives suggested by individual team members. We are constantly working internally to improve our environmental footprint, and choosing partners and accommodation providers who make earnest conservation efforts and with lower ecological impact.
What we do
Sustainable office management: waste, energy, recycling and technology
Our champions spearhead regular Responsible Travel Days in their respective offices, which enable us to raise awareness for and drive our Responsible Travel Initiatives together as a team. Meet our team
How you can get involved and contribute
Responsible Travel extends beyond the ground operations, accommodation and community. It also includes you! The difference between a typical tourist and an Enchanting Travels guest is mindset: by traveling with us you are open and respectful in your behavior and actions.