At Equatours, we believe it is our responsibility as a tour operator to promote Responsible Travel & Tourism.
The world is now more accessible than ever before, and as such, we must all do our bit to ensure the only footprints we leave behind are those in the sand, and not the carbon variety, which are so damaging to our environment.
In our aim to achieve our Responsible Travel goals we have put the following systems in place:
Cutting Carbon Emissions
Climate change is the most pressing global issue facing us all, with potential for significant community, biodiversity and environmental consequences across the world. To take responsibility for our impact on the climate we are offsetting the carbon emissions from the air travel associated with our business through ClimateCare.
ClimateCare is an organisation that reduces global greenhouse gas emissions on behalf of companies and individuals. These reductions are made through a range of projects around the world that not only make real and verifiable reductions in carbon emissions, but also make a difference to people’s lives.
When you book a flight through Equatours, you can be confident that the carbon emissions from your flight are being taken care of; you will receive a certificate indicating exactly how much we have contributed to ClimateCare to offset the CO² emissions of your flight.
To find out more about ClimateCare and emission reduction projects, visit www.climatecare.org.
We are virtually a paper free environment and advertise, promote, and confirm our travel arrangements via the internet, email communications and by telephone. Learning from our partners who are leaders in sustainable tourism, we do not print glossy brochures and do our best to “reuse, reduce and recycle” wherever possible.
We work hard to ensure the experiential travel packages booked through Equatours are both memorable and kind to the environment. We keep our group sizes small; not only to maintain our personalised service, but also to ensure we leave the pristine wilderness untouched, the wild animals unscathed, and the beautiful country in the same condition as we found it.
On our Escorted Tours, we endeavour to:
• Use locally owned hotels and guesthouses that practice sustainable tourism. These properties all employ local staff, and many give opportunities to those without schooling, to improve and support the local economy.
• We inspect all the hotels we intend to use on our escorted tours personally. In most cases, we meet with the owners, and ensure that the hotels are everything they claim to be, prior to sending our clients.
• While we join our clients on their escorted tours, we also provide employment for local people by using local drivers / guides in each destination, local ground transportation companies, and book all excursions and activities through local suppliers.
• We only use high quality vehicles on our escorted tours that are modern, clean, well maintained and meet all local emission regulations (where applicable).
• The local guides we use are well versed in the history and culture of their country, and are able to present a balanced view, brief clients on local customs, traditions, religions, eating habits, and advice on taking photos, while answering any questions along the way.
• When travelling from one destination to another, we aim to offer economic benefit to the more remote communities by stopping at local markets, restaurants, and stores, so our guests may interact with the locals, try traditional foods, and learn more about the customs and culture of the country they are visiting.
• In many, if not most foreign lands, water and electricity supplies are scarce. We therefore always advise clients about the importance of turning off lights/fans and TVs, limiting the amount of time they spend in the shower, and ask them to reuse their towels and linens.
Our Future goals
At Equatours, we aim to raise awareness of sustainable tourism throughout our business, and the tours we promote. We will do this by:
• Providing our clients with a detailed pre-trip information package.
• Offsetting the Co² emissions of each flight booked through Equatours with ClimateCare.
• We will continue sourcing the best local hotels that employee local staff.
• We will use only local drivers/guides and ground transportation companies.
• We will continue to look for ways to reuse, reduce and recycle.
By 2014 Equatours hopes to support and promote awareness of the many charities in the countries we visit, starting with Rhino Protection in South Africa.
We believe we can limit the negative impact our travels have on the planet, and by sharing our knowledge with others, we can help tourists to become Responsible Travellers.
Equatours is an Official Supporter of WTM’s World Responsible Tourism Day. In our aim to make a difference we will be highlighting this event via our website, social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and will dedicate a newsletter to the event.
Further information about the World Travel Market Responsible Tourism Day can be found: www.wtmwrtd.com.