The people and the environment in our travel destinations are important to us. Like all industries tourism has its impact on the environment and local communities. We as tour operator share a responsibility. Therefore, we want to increase the awareness of our employees, suppliers and our customers for sustainability. Here we tell you how our company is contributing and some suggestions what you can do.
What we as company do
Awareness and Training: Sustainability starts with sustainable thinking, resulting in sustainable acting. It is teamwork, therefore it is crucial to train our employees and free lancers. Our tour consultants, drivers and tour guides play the major role. We hire local people who will feel proud of the countries’ heritage and behave sensitively when showing the natural and cultural heritage and conserve them at the same time. They are trained to behave professionally to our guests, communicate in a transparent way about history, culture and the expected behavior. To provide you as clients with a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues, plays a key role to gain your cooperation. Plan itineraries so they are sustainable as possible or make suggestions to visitors how it can be more sustainable.
Cooperate with the Local Community: As local tour operator we naturally work with the local community and the money you spend stays here. Where possible and depending on your tour we recommend local hotels, eco accommodation, encourage to eat at local restaurants, shop at local markets. If you like and where possible, we add environmental and social projects into the travel itinerary. We customize your travel offer.
Fair Wages: As a matter of fact, we pay fair wages. This benefits you as visitors, because only satisfied people will give a real good service.
Donation: We donate 1 USD per person / per day of your tour to a social cause. At present it is the Petra Care Centre for Orphans. These orphans live with their wider families like uncles and aunts or grandparents. But they still need support for clothes, school supplies, food or an outing. And here the Petra Care Centre steps in.
Paper-reduced Office: We work paper-reduced in our offices. Contracts with suppliers, programs, confirmations are not printed anymore and kept as digital version.
There is still a long way to go, but we made the first steps and continue improving for the future.
What you as traveler can do
Here we give you some general ideas to think about when planning and booking your holiday. Certainly some are an assessment between possibilities, comfort, money and your willingness to contribute to sustainability. Small choices make already a difference.
Flights: It is better to book a direct flight to your destination to lower CO2 emissions. We are not selling international flight tickets, just for a few destinations domestic flight tickets. In some countries you have the option to travel by train instead of using a domestic flight. This will be pointed out in our offers.
Stay Longer and Know your Destination: Opt for a longer trip in your destination, in order to achieve a balance between transport costs and length of stay. This decision has a better eco-balance and you are able to experience more of the culture. Educate yourself about the place you are visiting and the people. Respect cultural differences like culture and religion, rules and values. Notice local dress codes and adhere to them.
Choose the Accommodation: Think about to book family run hotels instead of stays at hotel chains. Environmentally friendly accommodations or homestays with a family are a great option too.
Avoid Plastic: As is known, the world has a plastic pollution crisis. So, when packing at home for your trip remove the packaging material and do not bring it to your destination. Bring your own reusable cotton bag and reject any plastic bags you are offered in shops. If you need your daily coffee to go bring your own travel mug, and / or your own reusable bottle. In many countries tap water is not drinkable. Here the solution is a bottle purifying the water. Brands are LifeStraw or Water-to-Go. In some countries there is no awareness for environment and sustainability due to more pressing problems like poverty. Visible proof you see as random dumping of waste. Still do your part as guest to avoid plastic and littering.
Reduce Water and Energy Consumption: Conserve water by taking a shorter shower. Switch off the light and the air-conditioning. Reduce your meat consumption when traveling.
Animal Welfare: Working animals are often the source of income for families in many countries. But before you go on a ride check if the animal looks well-fed and the coat is in good condition. Consider if the animal can comfortably take your weight. Refuse to ride animals that are beaten.
Child Protection: Children have a right on education and to grow up without harm and abuse. Don’t purchase from children or give them money, which will be a reason to keep them out of school.
Souvenirs: Who doesn’t like to bring home a souvenir for family and friends? Take a look around local markets for handicrafts and culinary delights. Spices, sweets do not take much space and are popular. And you support the local community and keep traditional crafts alive. Best is not to go for plant or animal souvenirs.