CASE STUDIES | Companies Organizations
Rainforest Expeditions– a Peruvian Ecotourism company has offered experiences to guests since 1989. Showcasing harmony in nature and community involvement. They operate three lodges: Posadas Amazonas,Refugio Amazonas& Amazonas Villas. Set up to protect the area from uncontrolled logging, the organization have built a research centre, assist with protection of local species and work with the local community. This company has worked with the local community for over 18 years and is possibly the most important source of income for the local aboriginal community. It also offers some of the best birding in the Amazon!
National Holidays – travelling by coach can reduce your impact on the environment and this company is starting to understand the benefits of reducing emissions and promoting ecotourism type adventures.
Sumak Travel, or “good, sustainable travel”, is a tour operator and social enterprise which specialises in community-based eco-tourism (CBET). They work closely with community organisations and networks in Latin America which offer sustainable tourism options for national and international visitors. Typically these organisations are groups of farming and indigenous communities, fishing villages, and shanty town dwellers, who offer a combination of local accommodation, ecotourism, cultural tours, a chance to experience local cooking, and visits to national parks and other attractions.
A fair-trade logic applies, so tourists are paying a fair price in exchange for high quality and often unique products and services, within a context of transparency and equality. For tourists it is a genuine and rich experience. They get to know the local traditions, get involved in cultural activities and have the opportunity to see unspoilt nature and eco-systems. For the local communities, CBET is an additional source of revenue, to complement (and not replace) their current livelihoods (such as fishing, farming, etc). This makes each community more economically resilient and better able to cope with fluctuations in earnings (for example as a result of poor harvests in some years). Local community members decide how much and how far tourism is developed, and the pattern so far has been for the activity to be kept in harmony with the local environment, land use, culture, and traditions. In fact, moderate tourism revenue has encouraged communities to act as custodians of the local environment and culture.
Sumak Travel increases the global visibility of these destinations and creates market channels for the local community-base tour operators. Its profits are reinvested into the business to support local communities wanting to start CBET initiatives (increase the offer) and to reduce transactions costs. They also compensate CO2 emissions by supporting environmental preservation in the Amazon Rainforest, in partnership with The Bloomtrigger Project.
Porino Ecotourism Ltd. This safari company works with local Masai communities to help protect and preserve lands. The campsites use only renewable energy and limits its number of guests.
World Primates Safaris
This operator gives a proportion of its profits back to help protect endangered primates. They also provide their clients with a details what to do list for responsible tourism as well as specific rules for visiting gorillas and other primates.
This website offers ecotours, adventure tours and other holidays to over 100 countries. The site pre-screens responsible/sustainable tourism initiatives and provides marketing and on-line direct click through bookings for their member companies. All holiday offerings on the site have met minimum environmental, social and economic criteria to qualify for membership. You can review each member’s policies on-line. The team has a unique array of experience and truly believes in the cause. Some of their more impressive accomplishments include:
– donating £1 per person donation to Friends of conservation
– have a 6 page write up about responsible travel products offered on their site in Geographer Magazine (free publicity for their members)
– contributing 5% of pre-tax profits to local communities, enabling them to develop policies, skills and infrastructure that will lead to their benefiting from tourism
– promote community owned and managed projects at no charge
– are on the judging panel for the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. The site believes that responsible travel is travel that benefits travellers, hosts and their environments and their public relations has proven their effectiveness. For more information, please contact www.responsibletravel.com.
One of the first large tour operators to take the initiative to produce a CSR report on their actions
for sustainable development. The report outlines their recent initiatives in headings such as:
– investing in our people
– operating responsibly
– serving our customers
– respecting destinations
The company was included in the FTSE4Good Index for the first time in 2005 and the company
was one of 10 most improved companies in the UK Business in the Environment Index in 2004.
Unfortunately, the report does not outline any specific or measurable results achieved in 2005.
Canadian Mountain Holidays recognized for their commitment to sustainable tourism. CMH strives to promote understanding and awareness of sustainable tourism on-line. The CMH site features a dedicated Stewardship section, which allows readers to explore the award winning Second Nature program, view on-going sustainability reports, and to learn more about company-wide environmental and social initiatives.
“Our vision is to be the leading sustainable tourism operator in North America,” says Dave Butler, CMH’s Director of Land Resources. “Our Website is a great tool to openly communicate our goals, challenges and success, and to engage our partners and critics in a broader discussion about sustainability. But, more importantly, this award reflects the efforts and commitment of our staff who work hard to find innovative ways to improve our operations, share our stories and of course, deliver safe Heli-Skiing and Heli-Hiking experiences that constantly exceed expectations.”
Air Transat supporting sustainable tourism in Cuba. Transat A.T. Inc. is supporting four sustainable tourism projects, including one launched by World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF-Canada) to improve protection of ecosystems in Cuba by promoting the adoption of a sustainable tourism policy.