At We Are Travel we believe that the world is our oyster! Exploring unseen cities, landscapes and culture is one of the greatest joys and freedoms we can experience in life. A freedom that we want all of our travellers to enjoy.
Travelling responsibly is an underpinning principle in everything we do as a company. We want to play our part in protecting the environment, animals and communities that we visit. As such we have made a commitment to support responsible travel choices through our business.
What is Responsible Travel?
In 2002 the Cape Town Declaration recognised the global impact of tourism and brought together representatives from across the world to define a shared commitment to reducing the negative impact of the industry. They defined the characteristics of responsible tourism as an industry that:
Minimises negative economic, environmental, and social impacts;
Generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry;
Involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances;
Makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world’s diversity;
Provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues;
Provides access for physically challenged people;and is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.
How do we support Responsible Travel?
We believe that change on a large scale is brought about by smaller actions from each and every one of us. By making positive choices about the way we work and the companies we work with, we seek to make a difference (however great or small) to the communities we visit. Our commitment to support Responsible Travel and sustainability includes:
Our choice of partners – we only feature approved Tour Operators on our website who have a strong commitment and track record to responsible and sustainable travel.
Encouraging respect – We encourage all of our travellers to respect their surroundings and the people they meet along the way by respecting local cultures, religious traditions and minimising their impact on the environment. We provide guidance to our travellers specific to each destination that we serve.
Benefitting the communities that we visit – through our trusted relationships with Intrepid and Exodus as our approved Tour Operators. Our partners ensure that local staff are paid a fair rate for their services and support smaller, local operators to provide income for the local community. For instance, a number of our tours use locally employed Tour Guides, locally run accommodation and local travel solutions. The economic empowerment of communities through tourism can help them to improve education, health services, water supplies, sanitation and reduce dependence on non-sustainable practices.
Small group tours – smaller groups of travellers have less of an impact on the local communities and environment. Our tours minimise the number of travellers in each group.
Support The Travel Foundation – we are a proud supporter of The Travel Foundation as part of the ‘Year of Sustainable Tourism’. Click here to read more about the Travel Foundation and their work.
Can travel ever be green?
Travel is inevitably linked with flying, which by its very nature has a negative impact on the environment. There is however an opportunity for us to still make positive changes to our travel plans to reduce this impact. For instance, using alternative arrangements such as travelling overland by rails instead of taking an internal flight, can drastically reduce your carbon footprint.
Our friends at Intrepid provide us with over 800 trips that are Carbon Offset! Their trips are ‘low impact’ by design. This is done through using public transport wherever possible, staying in locally owned, simpler styles of accommodation and latin at locally owned restaurants where food is locally sourced (therefore reducing transport emissions). We Are Travel offset all company related travel (land and air) in 2017/2018 and are working hard to increase this contribution over the coming years.
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