Audley Travel has introduced a “Responsible Choice” classification system which identifies tours and accommodation that are at the forefront of the sustainability journey.
To earn the status, the accommodation owner or excursion operator must put a purposeful focus on supporting local businesses, educating staff, exceeding local norms for environmental and social best practice, or promoting conservation and biodiversity efforts. This could be by focusing on ecosystem restoration, moving to 100 percent renewable power sources, or initiatives that support women-led enterprises.
Clients of Audley should expect to see experiences or properties labeled with the “Responsible Choice” symbol across the website to identify which products meet the mark. By highlighting these experiences and being mindful of clients’ responsible tourism concerns, Audley specialists can help clients to design their itinerary to leave a positive impact on the local environment or community they will be visiting.
Examples of the “Responsible Choice” collection include:
- Iban jungle experience on the Lemanak River, Malaysia – Clients travel by wooden boat, a low-carbon way to travel along the river, where they will have an opportunity to learn how locals navigate their landscape. The tour then moves to land to join an Iban guide for a trek through the forest where clients are introduced to the medicinal plants used by the community. Numbers on this tour are restricted to help preserve the Iban culture and land, with visits contributing to a community fund that the tribe uses to help support families with pressing issues, such as education or emergency medical needs.
- Onçafari jaguar experience in the Pantanal, Brazil – Tourists accompanied by Onçafari guides can spot jaguars and learn about their role as a keystone species in the ecosystem. Education is a central part of the Onçafari’s mission and their goal goes beyond basic tourism, using responsible travel as a tool to promote conservation of these animals.
- Chisa Busanga Camp in Kafue National Park, Zambia – The sustainable camp runs on solar power and the elevated birds-nest style rooms are made from organic materials. Clients can also use solar-powered electric vehicles on their game drives. As part of its community outreach, Chisa Busanga Camp is member of the Zambia Carnivore Conservation Program, a non-profit working to preserve the large animals that attract so many people to Africa. To support the local Nalusanga people, the camp has also created a community farm.
Heather Magnussen, responsible travel manager at Audley Travel, said: “When creating itineraries for our clients we prefer to work with local partners where possible, and offer our clients small boutique hotels and unique local tours. This approach gives clients the best experience and makes a positive impact on the local community, while leaving much needed income within the destination.
“Our ‘Responsible Choice’ classification is the natural extension of our already strong and existing ESG credentials that sit at the heart of everything we do. ‘Responsible Choice’ recognizes suppliers who are going above and beyond the country norms to give back to the destinations they operate within. It’s also an excellent way to create a culture of positive reinforcement for our network of providers—with the leaders in this space hopefully inspiring others to do better in the way of responsible tourism.”
This announcement comes following the B Corp certification Audley secured earlier this year which reflects the tour operator’s achievement in meeting rigorous social and environmental standards across its entire business within five key impact areas of governance, workers, community, environment and customers.
For more information, visit www.audleytravel.com.