RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL UPDATE - Jan 2009
Imaginative Traveller now has a full-time Responsible Travel product manager. Since taking over the role in October, Sam has been reviewing our Responsible Travel policy and looking at our aims for the future.
There are four main areas that we are focussing on and below are details of achievements in these areas so far:
1. CLIMATE CHANGE
To compliment our voluntary carbon offset prices in our UK brochure we have added a link from the Responsible Travel web page to a dedicated "Climate Care" page, our partners for this initiative. This explains how climate care offset flight emissions through their sustainable energy technologies. You can click through from this page straight to the climate care website to make offset payments. We are also considering the possibility of offering some carbon neutral tours, with the price of offsetting all land travel incorporated into the trip price.
2. COMMUNICATION WITH OUR CUSTOMERS
As we realise that many of our clients now book online or through agents booking online we are looking into the possibility of adding a tick box function in the booking process to enable an immediate voluntary donation to our Worldwide projects. This remains an option on our booking form.
We have recently developed a ‘Responsible Travel Guidelines’ document to be sent out with final travel documents. We are hoping to incorporate this onto our website so that this can be downloaded from the pre-departure page. These guidelines briefly introduce the concept of responsible travel and outline ideas of how you can get the most out of your trip, whilst being aware of travelling responsibly at the same time.
The Responsible Travel page on our website will shortly be revised and our Worldwide project details will be updated.
3. OUR PEOPLE
New up-to-date training notes have been produced for new staff members.
4. IN DESTINATION
The biggest task has been revising our Worldwide projects and deciding how to move forward with those. This is still to be finalised but it looks likely we will be updating our support with some of our progects and launching support for new ones. The main reason for finishing supporting a project is because they are now self sufficient, and your money can be used better elsewhere - which shows it really works!
We closely monitor our projects and felt that in China and Bolivia it has proved difficult to verify where previous donations have been used and so we feel unable to contribute anymore.
In the case of the Sunshine Project in Luxor Egypt, they now have huge support from many other people and so we feel our donations would be better used in a new grassroots initiative. Keep your eyes out for our new projects which will shortly be featured on our website.
We will be keeping you up to date on our responsible travel policies in e-tracks and through the blog. Sign up to E-tracks here.
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