6 Travel Companies Saving the Planet One Trip at a Time
In celebration of Earth Day 2018, we’re taking a look at some of the world’s leading sustainable tourism partners and their efforts towards preserving the environment and communities in the destinations we visit and beyond.
As travelers, we get the great opportunity to experience and appreciate many of the natural and cultural wonders our planet has to offer. With Earth Day celebrations on April 22nd this year, you may be wondering how you can do your part in preserving the world we love to explore for ourselves and future generations. It’s definitely been on our mind, so we decided to take a closer look at a few of the many hotels, guided vacation groups, and companies promoting sustainable tourism for travel we can all feel good about.
Elephant Hills – Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
When travelers think of Thailand, elephants quickly come to mind, and the country has worked hard to protect these animals over the last few decades. In stunning Khao Sok National Park, Elephant Hills allows travelers to ethically interact with the locals – a herd of rescued elephants – and the surrounding nature on their soft adventure tours, while staying in environmentally-friendly luxury tents right in the heart of the rainforest. Visitors get up close and personal with these intelligent giants through authentic interactions, such as preparing their meals, feedings, watching and playing with them in their natural environment, and jumping in the water to give them a good scrubbing with gentle coconut fibers. Sustainable-style glamping and baths with an elephant sounds like heaven to us.
With the belief that, “with great travel, comes great responsibility,” at the core of their business, it’s no surprise Intrepid Travel is one of the world’s leading sustainable tourism companies. Through their non-profit Intrepid Foundation and by incorporating responsible travel fundamentals into every one of their small group, guided adventure trips, Intrepid ensures their travelers leave lighter footprints, support the local communities, respect and understand the culture, and preserve the environment and wildlife of the destinations they visit. And they don’t stop there. Even their 27 offices around the world are carbon neutral. While you enjoy discovering the heart and soul of your destination through authentic experiences, you can travel with confidence knowing you’re doing your part to conserve the world with Intrepid.
Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts
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There’s more to Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts than their luxurious accommodations and indulgent experiences – although we’re big fans of those, as well. What makes this great resort company even more remarkable is their dedication to environmental restoration and conservation. Banyan Tree is proud to say they’ve been sustainable from the start, when the founders bought heavily polluted land in Phuket, Thailand, cleansed the soil, and planted more than seven thousand trees, thus turning the area into their first environmentally sensitive resort. Ever since, Banyan Tree has strived to offer naturally-luxurious and environmentally-friendly experiences. Their efforts even reach beyond their sustainable resorts with events and organizations like their Green Imperative Fund, which has raised over $7 million dollars towards social and environmental efforts.
With Collette, it’s all about style – travel style, that is. Boasting the honor of being North America’s oldest guided tour company, their collection of worldwide trips range by interest and style, from faith journeys to city spotlights and river cruises to land expeditions. One of their most important and immersive travel styles are Impact Tours, which allow travelers to experience traditional sightseeing while also giving back to the destinations they visit through voluntourism, a type of touring style that gives travelers the opportunity to do charity work while on a trip. So if you take an Impact Tour to South Africa, you’ll search for the “Big 5” and also work on educational programs for local children. Or, if you’re headed to Costa Rica, you’ll explore the Cloud Forest and sample local cuisine while spending time restoring parks in the communities you’ll visit. Impact travel is a style that looks good on everyone.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve – Port Douglas, Australia
Australia is renowned as the home to some of nature’s greatest treasures, including the Daintree Rainforest and natural world wonder, the Great Barrier Reef. Eco-adventurers that want to experience both of these unique ecosystems – and do so in a responsible way – should book a stay at Thala Beach Nature Reserve. This lodge-style property offers eco accommodations and facilities strategically placed within a lush, 145-acre protected rainforest. Here, impressive greenery meets the bountiful seas, and enthusiastic on-site guides host nature walks on property and snorkeling trips out to the reef while educating guests on the local creatures and flora and how we can work together to preserve them. As a Green Travel Leader and proud receiver of an Advanced Eco Certification, Thala Beach is celebrating Earth Day this year by promoting the end of plastic pollution. Check out their website to learn more about the movement and how you can do your part.
Marriott International Inc.
The name Marriott is synonymous with hospitality around the world. But what you might not know about this global hotel leader is that they’ve made incredible strides they’ve made to reduce greenhouse gases. Marriott was the first hotel company to join the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders Program. From there, they set a five-year plan to reduce greenhouse gases by six percent per guest, per room. Today, Marriott reduces greenhouse gases by an average of 70,000 tons per year and has received more Energy Star labels than any other hotel company. The next time you stay in one of Marriott’s numerous hotel brands around the world, you can expect the same great service and accommodations along with the added complimentary amenity of saving the planet.
Travel teaches us to appreciate all the treasures our planet has to offer and how important it is to preserve them. If you want to make a positive impact on the world on your next adventure, consider traveling with one of these earth-friendly companies or ask your Liberty Travel consultant about sustainable tourism partners and opportunities in the destination you wish to explore next.