Culture Trip's Commitment to Responsible Travel

Culture Trip Travel Team

The way we travel is changing, yet the desire to see other countries and cultures is as strong as ever. And we know that travelling more responsibly is as much a priority for you as it is for us. We believe that travel is about connecting with a place, its people and its culture – and exploring the world, while being good to it. That’s why we curate our trips with care for the planet. Read on to learn more about our commitment to responsible travel.

We know travel often increases your carbon footprint. But it also connects – and brings opportunities to – people around the world. It can change lives and support communities. So we at Culture Trip have started a journey to help you travel responsibly. Our actions aren’t perfect (and probably never will be as there is so much to do). But they come from good intentions and our passionate team is dedicated to building on what we do today. We’re here to help you make more sustainable choices.

We’re developing a climate action plan

We have joined Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency – an initiative supported by more than 300 travel organisations, companies and professionals working together to take purposeful action for a better future for tourism. As part of Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency we – like all signatories – have committed to:

developing a climate action plan by August 2022 (you can read about our first steps on this page)
accepting current IPCC advice stating the need to cut global carbon emissions to 55 percent below 2017 levels by 2030, to keep the planet within 1.5 degrees of warming
working together with peers, suppliers and partners to share best practice and grow the community
sharing our commitment and updating on our progress
advocating for change across the industry

The desire to explore the world is as strong as ever, but so is the need to travel in a better way

We curate trips with care for the planet

Our trips are all put together with conscious travellers in mind – and with a focus that goes beyond mass-market offerings. This approach means you can travel more responsibly with us and enjoy a more authentic experience – really getting under the skin of a destination. All our trips are built on three key pillars:

Community-based tourism

We put local people at the centre of our trips, which provides income and helps spread the economic benefits of tourism around the community. It also means you connect with local cultures and people, hear their stories and discover their traditions.

Here’s how we do this:

for each trip, a Local Insider, who knows the destination inside out, leads our small groups; we also use local drivers. Working with local people means we contribute towards employment and economic growth in the destinations we visit
wherever possible, we use locally owned and run places to stay
we carefully research and source local activities that are authentic. These include going to a market to buy food, before a cooking class at a host’s home; visiting organisations that run initiatives to empower local women; and learning about traditional wine-making methods

Authentic, local activities contribute to economic growth within the host community

The environment

We can all make changes to the way we travel; however small, they make a difference. And with the increasing impact of climate change, this has never been more important.

That’s why we’ve partnered with the eco-whizzes at Path Net Zero, who will use their industry-leading tech to calculate the emissions of each of our Epic Trips, Mini Trips and Sailing Trips. With the totals totted, we’ll then offset those emissions by purchasing carbon credits.

Path Net Zero will then put those credits towards Gold Standard-certified projects and programmes – each of which helps fast track our journey towards the Net Zero ambition of the Paris Climate Agreement and benefits wider Sustainable Development Goals.

Those invaluable projects include reforestation, generating new renewable energies, and sponsoring eco-initiatives and wildlife eco-projects – all critical to the sustainability of the travel industry.

It’s our little way of exploring the best of the planet, while still being good to it.

Our work doesn’t stop there though. Other key elements of our trips are:

aiming to avoid areas blighted by overtourism
curating trips that are flightless within the destination
only having small groups, which means a smaller impact – our groups average 10 travellers

Animal welfare

We properly screen the experiences on our trips so we don’t include any unethical practices or activities that aren’t in the best interest of the animals or wildlife. We actively encourage travellers to be mindful of animal welfare issues at a local level and endeavour to provide useful tips on how to travel more responsibly, what to look out for and any do’s and don’ts while in the destination.

Here’s how:

we accept that the welfare of wild animals is compromised in captivity – it is only acceptable when it is in the animal’s best interests, such as orphaned young unable to survive in the wild, and when the highest possible standards of care are given to that animal
we work with our local partners to ensure we don’t include any unethical activities on our trips, such as elephant riding or visiting sanctuaries where animals are handled or drugged for tourist entertainment
we only ever include rides in our trips with animals that are considered domestic or working animals — such as camels, horses and donkeys; however, we only include them once the wellbeing of the animals has been clearly established

We believe wild animals should stay that way wherever possible

Other initiatives we’re working on

Growing the Culture Trip Forest and offsetting our in-house team

Together with our partner Tree-Nation, we are helping to reforest the world. We do this by offsetting the CO2 emissions generated by our employees, including work space, electricity, water, paper, short-distance team travel and occasional long-distance travel. The emissions of an office-based employee average 3 tonnes to 3.6 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year (according to calculations by French company Sinteo/ARSEG, then adapted to the European average). So, every month at Culture Trip, together with Tree-Nation, we plant enough trees to offset our team’s CO2 emissions.

We’ve teamed up with Tree-Nation to create the Culture Trip Forest

Sharing the best responsible travel tips with our audience

Every month, millions of people come to Culture Trip for travel inspiration. We are using our global reach to nudge them towards more responsible travel, and we can do this by providing practical tips and recommendations. Read about our Top Sustainable Travel Ideas, the Most Eco Friendly Countries to Visit, the Top 5 Eco-Tour Adventures, the Top Trips for Reconnecting with Nature, the Best Ecotourism Holidays in Africa, or Ecotourism in the Bahamas: How to Travel Lightly by Boat.

Remote working

We have implemented Feel Good Flex, a flexible work programme that allows all employees to work remotely and gives them more freedom as to when and where they work. This makes it easier for employees to balance their work and personal life and helps us to cut carbon emissions by reducing the amount we commute.

Employee volunteering days

At Culture Trip, every member of staff has an allowance of two volunteering days per year during work hours to help their community and wider areas. This aims to better connect us all to the society around us, by helping our staff support organisations and charities with their time and skills.

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