There is no doubt that travel can bring many benefits to the traveller and the countries visited, such as learning about different cultures and contributing to the local economy. Sometimes however, the impact can be negative - local people may be exploited, and their environment damaged for instance. It is therefore essential that we do everything possible to eliminate the negative impacts of tourism and travel as responsibly as possible.
Responsible travel is - and always has been - one of the driving principles of Explore. We care deeply about travelling in a way that positively impacts the people and places we visit.
As a company, we have implemented a comprehensive responsible tourism policy that encompasses all aspects of our operations, both here in the UK and overseas.
This means ensuring that:
• local people benefit economically from tourism, by employing them as guides, eating out in local restaurants and using locally owned hotels and ground agents wherever possible
• we learn about and respect the customs and culture of the country we are visiting so that we do not offend local people
• we support key local projects and charities, offering direct financial assistance so offering a sustainable and long term benefit
• we minimise our impact on the environment by travelling in small groups, offsetting our carbon emissions, reducing waste and supporting conservation projects
• people who work for Tailormade Explore are treated fairly and paid a fair wage
We have worked hard at maintaining these principles so that we continue to be welcomed in the places we all love to visit, meaning local people benefit and our groups enjoy a better trip.
Want to see how your tour makes a difference? Have a look at the Earthmatters box on every tour.
In 2008 we became the first major travel company to offset its carbon emissions; we do this for both staff and customer flights.
We carbon offset all our passenger's flights by including in the tour cost a sum to fund projects that help reduce global CO2 emissions. This important decision was by no means small – each year, we hand over a cheque for a six figure sum and have carefully chosen projects that our funding will help. We work with Climate Care as our designated carbon offset partner.
Over the past five years we have supported 14 different projects around the world. In 2012, after careful consideration, we chose to support the Shangyi Manjing Wind Farm in China and the Energy Efficiency Cooking Stove project in Cambodia.
Closer to home
In addition to our overseas initiatives, we also do as much as possible to minimise our environmental impact in our UK head office. We look at every aspect of our business, from quirky details like installing waterless urinals in our head office, to major decisions to offset all of our flight emissions.
At Explore we have a Responsible Business Forum made up of members from every team who meet regularly to discuss the very far reaching topics. The dedicated team works hard to ensure we operate not just responsible tours, but also a responsible business. Some of our responsible initiatives include:
• 12 months of Giving
• Getting to Work
• Waterless Urinals
• Energy Consumption
• Energy Supply
• Air Conditioning
For more information on these projects and initiatives, visit our Responsible Tourism section of the website.