Rise of Ethical Travel
If you’re a traveller under the age of thirty, give yourself a big pat on the back. Travellers under 30 consider the ethical impact of the trips more than any other age demographic, with 90% of 18 to 29-year-olds considering a travel company’s commitment to ethical travel important when booking a trip. As travellers, we have a responsibility to respect and protect the places we visit so they can be enjoyed for generations to come. These days, millennials and Gen Z are looking beyond the typical hot spots and seeking out brands that make a commitment to sustainable travel and able to facilitate sustainable choices, that impact the communities we travel to as well as the planet as a whole.
For travellers looking to make travel matter and give back to the communities they visit, there are a new breed of travel itineraries which offer unique experiences in various destinations allowing travellers to immerse themselves in local projects.
Contiki recently launched new trips to Colombia and Patagonia as well as revamping 13 trips in Latin America, ensuring guests are able to volunteer with several community projects and can contribute to. In Colombia, they work with Proyecto Tití and the local community at Hacienda El Ceibal to save and grow the population of the critically endangered Cotton Top Tamarin primates. Visitors can see the primates in their natural jungle habitat, when they are the most active, before meeting with the local community to learn about sustainability and best practices that benefit themselves and the primates.
In Ecuador, Contiki guests can volunteer on a development project alongside the Teh Mazin community, deep in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest. So remote you need to do the final leg of the journey by boat. Travellers work alongside the community and learn about life in the Amazon, a place where the local way of life is constantly threatened by environmental impact.
In Europe Busabout together with TreadRight’s Turisti Nei Cian campaign are helping to “Save Vernazza” and help restore and preserve the devasted town which sits in the middle of the Cinque Terre for future generations. Guests have the opportunity to head into the wild of Vernazza and help the local farmers restore and future-proof the land.
Across the globe in Asia, Busabout partners with Refill Not Landfill in a campaign to reduce disposable water bottle waste. Passengers travelling through Cambodia receive reusable stainless-steel bottles, which they can top up at the many refill stations around the country. Travellers in Vietnam visit Streets Restaurant in Hoi An, which runs a no-cost, 18-month culinary and hospitality programme for vulnerable youth living in poverty. Through the program, young disadvantaged people are helped and guided through this professional course giving them the skills they need to become self-sufficient. In Laos guests visit Ock Pop Tok in Luang Prabang, which is a textile and artisanal institute founded on the principles of fair trade and sustainable business practices – allowing loomed textiles to thrive as a craft and giving villagers the opportunity to work for competitive wages and continued learning.
U River Cruises, is also revolutionising the river cruise industry with its strong stance on sustainability and saying no to plastics. Since its inaugural sailing in 2018, the river cruise line banned single-use plastics from its ships.
According to a report by the World Economic Forum, if nothing is done to push back against the deluge of plastics currently overwhelming our oceans there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050, and U stands by its commitment to ensure the environment remains vibrant for generations to come.
For more information, visit treadright.org
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