Travel enriches lives and boosts communities who rely on tourism as their main economy. However, with increasing air travel and more people than ever travelling the globe, mass tourism inevitably brings with it some negative side effects. Issues such as global warming, degeneration of local environments, and the overwhelming of communities and cultures, mean it is important that we work to help slow the pace of these damaging effects and keep our world a beautiful place. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides advice to help British travellers make informed choices about travelling abroad and to be prepared for an overseas trip.
The well-known saying, "take only photographs, collect only anecdotes and leave only footprints" is certainly true. However, we try to ensure that we tread only softly in all the countries we visit. Since our earliest holidays in 1946, we have been committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations.
We aim to operate within the Travellers’ Code set out by the Friends of Conservation and we try to ensure our holidays give consideration to local people and cultures.
- Our tour leaders are usually familiar with local language and customs - some are residents. We often use local guides, transport, porters and food to benefit the local economy without exploitation.
- We try not to insulate you too much from the realities of local life. You’ll be on holiday to gain new experiences and you’ll have them in abundance.
- We like to develop long-term relationships with our destinations, hoteliers and other local partners. In order to achieve this, it is vital that we take care of the places we visit and support the people we work with overseas to ensure that we can all keep enjoying these destinations year after year.
Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an ’up close and personal’ experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be ‘out in it’. Without being out there and having an awareness of its beauty, importance and vulnerability, there is no understanding or sense of loss when it is threatened.
We help support the communities we visit by funding various projects overseas and in the UK.
We even installed a waterwheel into the refurbished mill we operate from the purpose of generating electricity by hydropower. It uses the flow of the River Lea which runs under our offices and is the first of its kind to generate electricity in Britain. This provides us with our own sustainable source of power, with any excess going to the National Grid. Currently, we’re running at close to 50,000-kilowatt hours per year which is the equivalent of saving 21 tonnes of CO2, 75,000 air miles, or enough to power around 10 homes for a year!