AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators

Absolute Escapes Sustainability

Absolute Escapes

Our sustainable Tourism Vision

The health of the environment is of concern to everyone and we at Absolute Escapes take our responsibilities seriously with a commitment to sustainable tourism that does its best to conserve and protect the world’s resources.

In Scotland, we live amongst one of the most spectacular wilderness areas in Europe and we endeavor to operate in an environmentally aware and sustainable manner to preserve our own country.

We have considered the environmental impact of the way in which we conduct our daily activities. We have put practices into place to reduce our waste, power usage and to use environmentally friendly products and recycled paper in our day to day lives wherever possible, and we encourage the use of Carbon Offsetting.

Sustainable Tourism Projects from Absolute Escapes

Promoting the Protection and Preservation of Natural Landscapes in the UK - Our 2019 AITO Protect Pledge

In 2019 Absolute Escapes pledged to become a more environmentally conscientious tour operator.

We introduced a comprehensive Sustainability Policy with 18 objectives. It has been well received by the team, with every member of staff pledging to engage with the policy to the fullest extent. New team members are educated on our policy as part of their induction programme, and the entire team has been involved in 12 monthly litter-picking sessions in the green-spaces of Edinburgh as part of this. The policy has set us apart from our competitors as we now have comprehensive sustainability credentials and a proven record of our dedication to the environment.

We also promoted sustainable tourism to our clients. Our marketing team created a fantastic marketing chapter on Sustainable & Responsible Tourism which reached just under 2500 people on Facebook. This includes blog posts on how to travel more sustainably, spotlights on other companies whose sustainability credentials inspire us, and sustainability tips.

Furthermore, we continued our support of the John Muir Trust, whose values lie very closely with ours. At the start of this year, 15 team members braved rain and snow on two volunteer days to assist in the rewilding of the John Muir Trust estate in Glenlude in the Scottish Borders.

Last but not least, our intrepid team took part in Rough Runner, a 10 kilometre assault course, raising £550 for Venture Scotland (, a local charity who help disadvantaged young people in Scotland with their personal development by teaching them outdoor skills. We feel this is particularly relevant to our company as we have all experienced the restorative and empowering effects of nature.

Implementing our pledge has been incredibly rewarding. It has brought the team closer together, we have received a lot of positive feedback from clients and it has created a greater awareness of sustainable tourism in our office as well as amongst our suppliers and clients. We’re incredibly proud of the work our team has done and we look forward to further progression in the coming year.

For more information on our pledge please contact Pippa Robson.

Protecting and enhancing wild places in the UK - Our 2018 AITO Protect Pledge

At Absolute Escapes the whole team got actively involved in achieving our 2018 pledge to the John Muir Trust, a Scottish conservation charity dedicated to protecting wild places. Having partnered with the Trust since 2013, our commitment to responsible and sustainable tourism lies at the heart of our Company.

In pledging to further promote our relationship with the John Muir Trust, we ambitiously provided all our clients with detailed information about the Trust, encouraging donations and raising awareness. This year over 2000 clients received this information in their personalised holiday package. We also included information about the Trust on our website reaching over 150,000 people.

In addition to this, we raised £358 in donations, and would like to thank all our clients for their support and donations.

We spent two inspirational and productive days volunteering at Glenlude Estate, a Trust property dedicated to rewilding 149 hectares of land with native trees. Here we planted 200 trees, learned a range of skills and came away covered in sawdust but with a new appreciation of how we can all contribute to the restoration and protection of wild land. Our trees will rejuvenate the area by attracting native flora and fauna, creating natural woodlands where the old conifer plantation once stood.

Our time at Glenlude resulted in a series of social media posts and a blog post with personal highlights of everyone in the team. These posts reached over 2200 people.

Our ambition for next year is to follow up on our efforts and return to the Estate to see what an impact our conservation work has had on the area and learn more about rewilding and sustainable tourism.

John Muir Trust

We are proud to be members of the John Muir Trust., the leading wild land conservation organisation in the UK, dedicated to protecting wild places. We support the Trust in its belief that wild places are essential for people and wildlife.

  • Safeguard iconic wild lands such as Ben Nevis, Sandwood Bay and the Red Cuillin
  • Support campaigns against inappropriate developments in wild places
  • Reinforce John Muir’s message that we need wild places for nature and people.