As a seasoned traveler, you know that experiencing the world in a joyful, meaningful way is accompanied by a deep sense of responsibility. Harnessing the immense power of travel has become so critical that the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization named this the Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Let us show you how we can help achieve those global goals to protect, nurture and improve communities from every perspective.
With our vast connections, we can arrange excursions in ways that only promote responsible interactions with animals. A journey to Kenya with Micato Safaris takes you into protected lands with guides who are intimately familiar with the landscape, and we can introduce you to conservation programs such as The Giraffe Center and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
In Thailand, the experts at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort are dedicated to providing enriching and ethical excursions. Spend a day learning to care for elephants with their keepers (mahouts), go trekking on a daily forest walk and take part in a bathing ritual. While the ultimate ambition is to eliminate the practice of using elephants for entertainment, these conservationists are working closely with the local community and rescued elephants to reach this goal in a measured, sustainable way.
In many cases, low-impact viewing is the best way to experience wildlife. That includes strolling raised walkways to view fairy penguins on parade in Australia’s Phillip Island and spotting polar bears from a respectful distance on your Silversea expedition voyage.
Supporting Local Communities
Rethinking how you consume travel can make an enormous difference in local communities. Lend a helping hand among local projects, whether you only have a few hours to spare or several days. With Crystal Cruises®, even a simple day on shore can help transform lives with complimentary “You Care, We Care” excursions. Let us arrange your day preparing meals at a food bank or assisting with adult education lessons, among many other opportunities around the globe.
Preserving The Environment
No matter where you go, there are straightforward steps to protecting the environment and reducing waste. For example, you can minimize your use of plastic goods and dispose of them properly (in one year, Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles — a number that’s easily reduced with a reusable water bottle). You can also cut your showers to three minutes a day, particularly if water is a limited resource in your destination.
We also recommend offsetting the carbon dioxide output of flying, driving and cruising by investing in initiatives such as converting wind energy, replanting trees and building water-filtration systems — and choosing travel providers that do the same. Quark Expeditions offers carbon-neutral polar voyages and uses fuel-efficient vessels to minimize its own travel footprint.
Many of our preferred ecolodges are also making a difference. Let us arrange a stay at Mashpi Lodge, where its founders saved the surrounding cloud forest reserve from deforestation, built a hydroelectric plant and continue to rely on locally foraged ingredients. Luxury meets sustainability at Singita Grumeti in Tanzania, just on the border of the Serengeti. Here, solar geysers make hot water, energy-efficient lighting reduces emissions and community outreach programs create economic opportunities for locals.
Doing your part to help support responsible travel begins even before you step on a plane. We’ll provide you with need-to-know information about your destination, advising on etiquette tips, appropriate dress for places of religious and cultural importance and what gifts to bring your hosts (like yaqona root when visiting a Fijian village!).
Our ultimate tip: always be willing to seek out other travelers for their insights into sustainable practices, and be ready to share what you’ve learned along your travels. Every bit of education helps to make a difference in the world.