As a global tour operator, we are committed to operating every one of our trips in a way that respects and benefits local people, their culture and economy, while minimising our impact on the natural environment.
We travel in small groups – on this trip the maximum group size is 12 passengers – which means we can stay in small, locally-owned or family-run hotels. Wherever possible we use public transport, and on this journey you will travel mostly by train (from Rome to Naples, Naples to Pompeii, and Pompeii to Sorrento). The remaining journeys are taken by public bus. When we visit Sorrento, we stay in the small neighbouring town of Sant’Agnello and encourage our passengers to use public transport to journey into Sorrento itself.
For maximum flexibility, there are very few meals included on this tour (just two breakfasts) so you can choose where to eat. Your tour leader will suggest authentic, local restaurants, bars, markets and other eating places where you can try locally-sourced Italian produce – including the oldest pizzeria in the world in Naples, and local limoncello producers in Sorrento - so you can eat sample local delicacies and support the local economy.
We visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pompeii, where you will be asked to remain on designated walking paths, use designated picnic areas and use the local water fountains to minimise the use (and discarding) of plastic bottles. We will also hire a local guide for the group, rather than using an audio guide, so as to provide local employment.
We operate this trip on a carbon neutral basis, by offsetting 98kg of C02 emissions for each passenger. After a three-year process, we were proud to become a carbon neutral company in 2010 and we have an ongoing programme to measure, reduce and offset the carbon emissions from our offices, stores and trips. We also offer passengers who book their flight through us the option to offset those emissions. To date, we have offset more than 45,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by investing in a range of internationally accredited renewable energy projects in destinations where we travel.
As well as a Responsible Travel Code of Conduct which we adhere to as a company, we expect our staff and travelers to demonstrate the principles of responsible travel and provide a number of responsible travel tips to facilitate this, for example advice on what clothing is appropriate and respectful. While there are few dress restrictions in Europe we request that our passengers dress modestly and cover their shoulders when visiting churches or religious sites, such as St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
As a tour company, our responsibilities don’t stop when our tours end. In 2002, we established a charitable foundation so that our passengers and staff could support grassroots community projects around the world. To date, it has raised over £2million for over 75 projects involved with health care, education, human rights, child welfare, sustainable development, and environmental and wildlife protection. We match every donation made by passengers and pay the administration costs, so every penny that is donated goes to a good cause.