AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators

Members Practising Sustainable Tourism

Members Practising Sustainable Tourism
You can view each members' sustainable tourism projects under their own company listing. Here is an overview of some of the fantastic work going on in the UK and abroad by our members.

Making every ETG trip a force for good through carbon capture (2020)

At ETG we believe in the economic, societal and environmental benefits of tourism. Our mantra has always been to respect the world as we explore it. However, we can’t ignore the fact that the long haul flights necessary to reach our destinations in Asia increase our individual carbon footprint. We want to make it easier for our staff and clients to minimise the negative and maximise the positive impact of their travel.

Our pledge is to build a partnership with a carbon positive project (or projects) in one or more of our destinations that will resonate with our clients, in-country partners and staff. And in keeping with ETG’s sustainability ethos, it is important to us that the impact goes beyond simply carbon capture to include wider benefits such as biodiversity protection and nurturing of community-based tourism.

We will invest £15 (the equivalent to 2 tonnes of CO2 per long haul flight taken by staff and clients. We will choose our partner and put our investment scheme in place in 2020 because we believe that when long haul travel is possible again, it will be even more critical that we travel mindfully and responsibly. ‘Flight shame’ is a growing concern among our clients, and we believe they would be comforted and empowered to know they can take action, without having to forego their passion for travel altogether. Our hope is that this initiative will raise awareness of the fact that travel, done the right way, can be a force for good.

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Find out more

Latin Routes Project Protect Pledge 2020 - Sustainable Solutions

In 2020-21, Latin Routes aims to give back to the environment and communities by offering more sustainable ways to travel around Latin America and in-turn lessening the invisible burden of tourism. We will do this by setting up a Sustainable Solutions programme.

The Sustainable Solutions programme will not only offer a carbon offsetting option for clients, but it will also include a selection of Sustainable Itineraries across Latin America. Our product team will be working hard this year to launch these in 2021 along with new destinations in Latin America.

At Latin Routes, we are passionate about Latin America and travel, and we are just as passionate about protecting this region for future generations to experience and enjoy.

  • - Sustainable Solutions programme will offer Latin Routes clients a carbon offsetting option to their holiday
  • - Part of the Sustainable Solutions programme will be a selection of Sustainable Holiday Itineraries to Latin Americ
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Travelife Partner status

To achieve Travelife Partner status by February 2021.

  • Internationally recognised program
  • Over 100 sustainability criteria
  • Provide staff with training on sustainable tourism
  • Help our suppliers develop sustainable policies
  • Empower our clients to make informed choices
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Wild Frontiers - Project Protect 2019 Testimonial

In 2019 Wild Frontiers pledged to empower working women from low-income families in Jaipur, India, through a partnership with local social enterprise, the Pink City Rickshaw Company.

  • £4600 raised
  • Five ladies from low-income families trained
  • Two new electric rickshaws built
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2019 Testimonial

In 2019 Tucan Travel pledged to begin to develop robust internal systems and information. Known as our Purpose, this has been a driving force to develop United Nation Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) specific links and understanding in our policies and internal communication.
This process has enabled us to draw attention to and promote the passion that existed across the company for responsible travel. This has always underpinned our work but has never previously been brought to the fore.

We believe that it is only by seeing and engaging with different people, cultures and habitats that we can begin to have an understanding of the world around us. It is only through understanding that we can hope to learn how to protect and conserve the world for future generations of all species.

  • Strengthening our communication
  • Understanding our shared values
  • Providing staff support
  • Conducting a policy review
  • Critically reviewing our products
  • Celebrating a culture of learning
Find out more

Protecting Ecuadorian Cloudforest with the World Land Trust and EcoMinga

In 2019, together with our clients, Naturetrek donated over £53,000 to the World Land Trust, to reduce the carbon impact of our flights by purchasing and protecting 240 acres of critically endangered cloudforest in the Ecuadorian Andes.

    Find out more

    Mountain Kingdoms Helps You Do Your Bit to Reduce Plastic Waste

    In 2019 Mountain Kingdoms offered most of its clients a free Water to Go filtered water bottle. In 10 months we have given away 367 water bottles which has stopped many thousands of plastic bottles being used just once; helping to reduce plastic production and the subsequent possible litter problem.

    • We now offer clients the choice of a free filtered water bottle on the majority of our trips.
    • This could stop over 20,500 single use 500ml plastic bottles being used by Mountain Kingdoms clients annually.
    Find out more

    Carbon Neutral Holidays

    Scandinavian Travel deliver carbon neutral holidays by offsetting the carbon footprint generated per person on all our holidays.

    We do this by:
    - Supporting reforestation projects in the UK and Amazon
    - Supporting a sustainable project as voted for by our customers. The chosen project this year was for the supply of energy efficient stoves in Kenya

    These certified carbon offsetting projects have been chosen by Scandinavian Travel and our customers to match our values and provide real and significant improvements to carbon generation both here in the UK and in developing countries.

    Find out more

    Travelling with Purpose

    Tucan Travel has been committed to the principles of sustainability and environmental and species protection since its inception over 30 years ago. Despite this on-going commitment, we have yet to formalise and make public our approach to sustainable and responsible travel.

    Our involvement in the AITO PROTECT Project is by way of remedying that by explicitly stating our vision and our road map for change.

    We would like to live in a world where our experience of adventure is open to everyone. We are realistic enough to now that as a small independent company there is a limit to what we can achieve. Doing nothing isn't an option, so we act with purpose to do what we can where we are and will guide and trust our tribe of Tucan Travellers to do the same.

    Our goal is to operate in a manner that is responsible to this generation, whoever or wherever they are, without compromising the potential of future generations. This applies to all species. To achieve our goal we must first check that our house is in order. To that end, or 2019/2020 pledge is to critically review our practice and prepare for change wherever it is needed to achieve our goal.

    • By April '20 we will:
    • Update our internal and external communications to reflect our position on sustainable and responsible travel
    • Critically review our tours
    • Plan for change
    • Collaborate with stakeholders re potential change
    Find out more

    Pintando El Cambio project

    Pintando El Cambio project uses art to lift spirits, preserve traditions and generate much-needed tourism in Santa Catarina, Guatemala. This year Journey Latin America raised funds for six of the 400 houses painted with Mayan traditional designs.

    • This is a project that we could tangibly see was lifting the spirits of a town by using art. We at JLA have a long term and deep rooted affiliation and affection for the people and traditions of Guatemala.
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