Our Responsible Travel Policy
Responsible Travel: Our Vision
We founded our company with the goal of having a positive impact and have captured this as a key element of our Company Vision. For us, ‘Responsible Travel’ means achieving business success while having a positive impact on the society and environment in which we operate and from which we benefit. When we make our guests’ travel dreams come true and facilitate their journeys to different parts of our amazing planet, it is important to us that through tourism, our guests and we are able to make a positive contribution to the people and places along the way.
For us, Responsible Travel means continuously working closely with our team, our partners and our guests, to ensure that the travel experiences we offer benefit the host communities and their local and national economies while having minimal impact on the natural and social environment.
We believe that all facets of Responsible Travel – communities, environment and economics – are mutually supportive, and that sustainable and sensitive tourism is crucial to economically developing communities and preserving the cultural heritage and environment in the destinations that we offer to our guests.
Responsible Travel: Our Approach
In our view, being a responsible Tour Operator naturally means being responsible in the way that we work – it pervades what we do on a day-to-day basis and comprises of five key dimensions.
Providing enriching and often life-changing experiences to our guests is only achieved through genuine care for our guests’ travel dreams. We ensure this through the following measures:
- Testing all our travel destinations
- Facilitating enriching encounters
- Encouraging local involvement
- Personalized and professional service
We assess our impact through gathering guest feedback after each trip, which greatly inspires us and enables us to continually enhance our service.
Treating all our team members with respect and dignity, ensuring a safe and conducive work environment and working conditions.
- Fair living wages
- Multicultural and cohesive teams
- Paid vacations
- Adequate health insurance and maternity/paternity cover
- Flexible working options for pursuing educational and other personal needs
- Learning and growth opportunities
- Individual empowerment
- Open and constructive feedback
- Active team engagement
- Enriching encounters and voluntary experiences
We assess our impact through annual team engagement surveys, and with an open-door philosophy between leadership, management, and our team.
PARTNER RELATIONSHIPS & EVALUATION
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 team the way we would want to be treated. We ensure this through the following measures:
- Partner sustainability evaluation and selection
- Partner training and development
- Sharing guest feedback constructively
- Above standard pay rates for chauffeurs and guides
- Rewards and recognition system
We assess our impact through the quality of relationships with our partners, partner sustainability evaluation during our regular test and training trips, and guests feedback.
Encouraging our guests to interact with the host communities and community-based organizations while maximizing the benefits to local economies and communities. We ensure this through the following measures:
- Cultural heritage preservation
- Internship opportunities
- Mentoring team members
- Considerate sourcing of gifts for our guests
- Economic opportunities
- Enriching encounters
We assess our impact through guests and team feedback and create awareness for positive examples and success stories among our guests and staff.
CONSIDERATION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Working internally to improve our environmental footprint, and choosing partners and accommodation providers who make earnest conservation efforts and with lower ecological impact
- Offsetting carbon emissions through Atmosfair
- Sustainable office management: waste, energy, recycling and technology
- Flexible working from home arrangements
- Preservation and conservation focus in destinations
- Team and guest awareness
As above, we assess our impact through our guests and team feedback and create awareness through positive examples and success stories among our guests and team.
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.
- We promote the positive aspects of the travel destinations which we are passionate about and encourage our guests to visit them if their travel dreams are in line with what the destinations have to offer.
- We promote off-the-beaten path places and avoid destinations that may be adversely affected by tourism.
- We place great emphasis on high quality local guides who are able to provide in-depth insights into each destination in a culturally sensitive manner.
- We encourage and promote conservation projects that have relevant tourism-related dimensions.
- We try to ensure that at least one member of our team has visited every place that we promote to our guests.
- We try to minimize our guest itineraries’ adverse impact on local environments while maximizing the benefits.
- We support and encourage environmentally sound management of accommodations and sensitive, sustainable activities.
- We support environmentally and socially sound projects through constructive feedback, impartial advice, and through creating awareness and providing them with business opportunities.
- We support and promote partners that are guided by strong ethical values and sustainable principles.
- We create and maintain partnerships with smaller local companies where possible, rather than larger or multinational ones.
- We will create awareness and steer our partners towards sustainable behavior through making our partner selection criteria transparent.
- We avoid working with partners and suppliers who we believe have a negative impact on the local environment or treat the local communities or their team disrespectfully.
- We do not employ foreign tour leaders or guides as we believe that local guides usually do an equally good or better job.
- We make clear and transparent arrangements with our local partners and suppliers, and make every effort to avoid exploiting them or their team.
- We encourage local community participation in tourism projects.
- We support charities and community projects which inspire us and where we believe we can make a difference beyond simply giving donations, through using our skills and capabilities in a way that they have a positive impact and also enrich our team members’ and guests’ experiences.
- We give all our team members the opportunity to dedicate one work day per quarter for volunteering with one of the charitable organizations which we support.
- We support local community-based projects and small scale businesses and try to ensure that they receive a fair share of the benefits from our guests’ trips.
- We encourage the employment of local people through the accommodations and projects that we support.
- We are always honest in our advice to our guests. We try to give our guests the most realistic picture possible of what their trip will be like – as we believe that matching expectations to the local reality, and then exceeding these expectations, is the way to consistently enchant our guests.
- We encourage our guests to deepen their understanding of the destination prior to departure so that they are aware of any cultural or environmental issues.
- We provide our guests with as much relevant information on each destination, culture, traditions, local economy and sensitive areas as we can, in the form of personal advice, informative guidebooks and our own in-house Travel Guides.
- We create awareness among our guests for our partners’ sustainability initiatives and promote activities involving these, e.g., visiting partner-supported local villages.
- We provide guests access to our Top Tips for Responsible Travel. Our Travel Consultants are happy to share this with our guests.
Share with us
Do we walk the talk and live up to our responsible travel policy? Tell us what you think we can do better by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.