Our activism

Responsible Travel is a business with ambitions to change tourism for the long-term benefit of local people, tourists, the environment and the tourism industry.

Part of our commitment is to screen and market responsible vacations. The other part of our commitment is to campaign for change in the tourism industry.

We are not claiming to be perfect by any means but we do believe we have a voice in the tourism industry and should use it!

Say NO to orca circuses
Orca whale campaign The problem
We believe it is wrong to keep cetaceans in captivity for public entertainment purposes. Across the globe, these highly intelligent, social animals live in small tanks and are trained to perform tricks for tourists' amusement every day.

Our objective
It is now widely believed here in the UK that using lions, elephants and other wild animals in circuses is morally unacceptable. We think that it's time the tide turned for captive orcas and dolphins too. We want people to help us to demonstrate to the travel and tourism industry that there is a real and growing movement of travelers who want to see an end to this practice by signing our petition.

Find out about our captive orca campaign and sign our petition.
(not) FOR SALE - Orphanage volunteering
Orphanage volunteering campaign The problem
1. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence regarding the detrimental impacts of residential care on the physical and emotional well being of children (UNICEF)
2. The UN Convention of Rights of Children states that the family must be afforded the necessary protection and assistance so that it can assume its responsibilities (of caring for children). Supporting families in this way is really what we should be working on.
Read the rest of the 10 issues

Our actions
In the summer of 2013 we worked with key partners including Save the Children, Friends International, ECPAT, Professor Harold Goodwin, People & Places and Daniela Papi to draft new best practice guidelines on volunteering with vulnerable children. As a result of the guidelines we removed 42 orphanage related trips from Responsible Travel.

Find out about our activism around orphanage volunteering .
Say no to offsets, yes to reduction
Carbon offsetting campaign The problem
1. Carbon offsetting provides a dangerous distraction from the real need to reduce our carbon emissions
2. Lack of acceptance in the industry that we need to reduce our carbon emissions and fly less, rather than offsetting

Our objective
1. Encourage travelers to say no to offsetting, yes to reduction
2. Inform travelers about the importance of flying less as a key element of a lower carbon lifestyle
3. Remind travelers that when they do fly, to ‘make it count’, by using our carbon comparison flight search, and promoting travel experiences that benefit local communities and the environment

Find out about aviation and our carbon caution.
Responsible tourism activism
Educating travelers
The problem
Increasingly, travelers are concerned about the impacts of their vacations, and want practical advice about how to travel responsibly.

Our objective
Advise travelers on how to get more from their travel experiences while being able to give something back to local communities and the environment.

Read our responsible travel tips.
Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria Debate
Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria debate
The problem
The 'one size fits all' approach to sustainable tourism offered by global accreditation schemes is not necessarily the answer.

Our objective
To start a debate about the subject of accreditation and sustainable tourism.

Read more on the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria debate.
Future of Tourism
The Future of Tourism
The problem
The environmental cost of travel has been well debated and tourism has taken a battering. Consequently the industry and those who work within it feel deflated. Many travelers are left wondering whether they can and should continue to travel.

Our objective
To start a positive and forward thinking debate around the future of our industry.

Read our vision of the future of tourism.
The cruise industry and responsible tourism
cruise industry campaign The problem
Cruise companies lacking clear responsible tourism policies, contributing to environmental damage and ignoring workers' rights.
Our objective
To raise awareness amongst travelers of the many damaging impacts of large cruise ships. In future, we also hopw to persuade The Passenger Shipping Association (PSA) - the trade body for cruise and ferry operators in the UK - to lead and encourage its cruise industry members to develop and implement responsible tourism policies.

Find out more about our stance on cruise ships.
The Daily Telegraph travel company audit
Green company audit The problem
Distinguishing between "green washers" and "green warriors" in travel.

Our objective
To increase accountability and encourage focus on responsible tourism throughout the UK tourism industry.

Read our Daily Telegraph travel company audit.
Had enough? Campaign against mass tourism
Campaign against mass tourism The problem
Three of the four big UK tourism companies had no policy on responsible tourism.

Our objective
Persuade these companies to create and implement responsible tourism policies through the use of customer petitions on responsibletravel.com.

Find out more about our Campaign against mass tourism.
Community based tourism
Community Based Tourism The problem
Responsible Travel's research indicates that for most of the wonderful community based tourism projects out there, occupancy levels are below five percent. For the projects to be successful, they need to link up with established tour operators to ensure regular bookings.

Our objective
To create marketing links between community based tourism projects and our member tour operators, and to market the projects through Responsible Travel.

Read more about community based tourism
Convert currencies