Travel has always been about trying different experiences and discovering new surroundings. Nowadays, it has become increasingly important for travellers to also give something back to the destination. Responsible travel – the idea that a traveller respects the place they’re visiting and helps to sustain that destination’s future – has established itself as a mainstream interest in travel in recent years.
While many travellers are open to such sustainability initiatives, travelling in a responsible way can be a daunting prospect and it can be difficult to know where to start. But long-haul tailored travel experts, Travelbag, believe there are easy ways to make your holidays more sustainable and it’s not just a case of carbon offsetting your air travel.
“We know that flying isn’t environmentally friendly – but that doesn’t mean your holiday can’t make a difference,” says the travel experts. And the key to sustainable travel, it believes, lies in inspiring tourists and travellers to give back to the destination they’re visiting in a fun, memorable and, ultimately, responsible way.
To achieve this Travelbag has created a responsible travel initiative map, so visitors can see ways to help the country you’re visiting, whether that is participating in a plastic pick-up event, planting trees, visiting an attraction that’s dedicated to protecting the environment, even just travelling around the destination in a more efficient and less environmentally demanding way.
With the Responsible Travel Map, Travelbag is aiming to encourage tourists or business travellers to get involved in something they might not normally think about doing whilst on holiday or on a work trip. This can range from supporting the local environment in a tangible way – such as a plastic pick-up on the beach – or something that will give back to and support the local community – like contributing some time to a local volunteering project.
“We’ve spent 40 years helping people to see and appreciate the world, using our expertise to make it easy for them to get under the skin of the places they’re visiting. As important as that is, we also want to ensure those destinations are there to be enjoyed for those who visit in the future,” says Lesley Rollo, managing director of Travelbag.
“This map brings those two things together by showing the many ways we’ve found that customers can give back to the countries they’re visiting. We want it to inspire and inform customers to put some time aside on their trip to support to the communities and countries playing host to them,” she adds.
The interactive map allows users to explore different destinations around the world, clicking on the icons within countries to reveal a multitude of different experiences and activities, from spending a day on a farm in Bali helping with crop production and supporting local farmers, to snorkelling around Australia’s coral reefs monitoring the status of coral species for ongoing conservation records.