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.

Karanambu Trust - Guyana

In Guyana, we stay at Karanambu Ranch home of Diane McTurk, well known for her work in rehabilitating orphaned Giant River Otters to the wild.

  • Diane has started the Karanambu Trust in an attempt to create a private protected area at Karanambu. The primary purpose of the protected area will be the protection of the habitat for the otters and ensuring their survival.
Find out more

The Lone Buffalo Foundation - Laos

This is a special project in Laos offering young people free English courses, taught by a native speaker.

  • Meeting foreigners (with different accents!) to practice English is a special event for students and helps to overcome their shyness of speaking in public. LBF encourages their students to continue to study for careers.
Find out more

Golf Tourism Sustainability

IAGTO Sustainability Awards 2017
Golf's changed attitude to sustainable tourism !

South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island has been named as the first-ever Sustainable Golf Destination of the Year in the 2017 IAGTO Sustainability Awards.

  • Nature Protection
  • Great Rift Valley Lodge & Golf Resort, Kenya
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Pebble Beach Resorts, USA
  • Community Value
  • Laguna Golf Phuket, Thailand
  • Outstanding Commitment to Sustainable Golf
  • Machrihanish Dunes, Scotland
Find out more

Wind Power

Sailing is inherently sustainable. Using wind to travel from island to island is the most environmentally friendly way to travel around the Greek Islands. There is no noise pollution or engine emissions whilst sailing!

  • Customers are encouraged to use the wind wherever possible
  • This limits diesel emissions & noise pollution
Find out more

The Ionian Dolphin Project

We work with the Ionian Dolphin Project. Our clients are actively encouraged to get in touch with the project when they spot a dolphin or school of dolphins!

  • The crew on our flotillas carry information for clients
  • Customers learn to identify the different species of dolphins
  • Sightings are mentioned on social media
  • We actively promote customers reporting their sightings
Find out more

Equipping our Mountain guides and staff correctly

This sounds completely logical - and it is - but we take the responsibility to equip our mountain staff in Kenya, Nepal, Tanzania and Russia with good quality mountaineering clothing and equipment.

  • We provide soft shell jackets, waterproof jackets, base layers, hats, gloves and climbing kit if necessary
  • Porters get Tshirts, sweatshirts, hats, socks and gloves, waterproofs.
  • The kit gets re-purchased every two years on average
Find out more

Guide Training for our Sherpa staff

We invest in our staff and Lopsang Sherpa is a good example of someone wanting to become a guide but needing the backing of a sponsor
We pay for his professional development during the off season

  • Nepal is a member of the UIAGM, and their international guide courses cost several thousand pounds and takes years to complete
  • As our employee, we commit to each other. He to his job and we to his career
  • Loyal staff = sustainable company
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Mattresses in Porters Lodges in the Khumbu

Every year we donate ~ 300 mattresses to the six porters lodges in the Khumbu Valley near Everest. Some come from our big expeditions, some are bought.
A mattress is about £18.00.
Great way of doing the right thing in a simple way!

  • Porters accommodation is great but the lodges are mostly empty, people need to keep warm and cook food
  • Blankets, mattresses, cooking stoves - basic requirements for sustainable living!
  • Happy staff = happy trips = reputation = sustainable
Find out more

Blue Line Hotel on slopes of Mount Kenya

A great rural hotel run by the effervescent Mama Nyokabi. We use it for all our treks and safaris on Mt Kenya. Fifteen years ago we brought her business and invested, and now she is a well known entrepreneur and the hotel is sustainable.

  • We provided route to market & advice
  • Hotel now a solid enterprise with positive social impact and hub of activity
  • Community developed out of poverty
  • Classic example of equality, collaboration and social entrepreneurship
  • Clients love it!
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Investing in Sherpa Social Entrepreneurs and Village Co-operatives

In partnership with our Moving Mountains NGO, we invest in facilities in the mountain villages where our guides and porters live.
Working together and harnessing tourism money, there is now long term improved quality of life.

  • Construction of a micro-hydro power plant to bring electricity
  • Buying milling machines to invest in businesses
  • Clean piped water supply to 66 homes so far
  • Installation of 65 high efficiency cooking stoves (so far)
  • All sustainable!
Find out more