We like to travel responsibly
The philosophy of travelling responsibly has been at the heart of Imaginative Traveller since we were founded in 1991. We are dedicated to building a sustainable travel business and environmental, social and ethical considerations are key to our decision-making. We care about travelling in a way that has a positive impact on the environment and on the communities we visit, ensuring everyone involved respects and maintains the natural and often delicate balance of the destination.
As travellers ourselves we are well aware of the impact that tourism can have and whilst economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, it should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment. The journeys we offer are designed to not only be incredible experiences, but to have the most positive impact on the places that we visit.
We passionately believe that as imaginative travellers we should not impose our own cultures on others but instead can experience and respect the differences between the cultures we visit and our own.
To deliver these objectives, we have forged long-standing relationships with suppliers that share both our joy of adventure and our responsible travel ethos.
Responsible Tourism Policy
- We only use suppliers who respect the local customs and culture and abide by the laws and etiquette of each region that they visit.
- We encourage all our travellers to act in a socially responsible way.
- We provide our customers with guidelines on how to respect the environment, culture, societies and religions of the communities and areas that we visit
- We aim to ensure that our presence is appropriate to the local conditions
- We take into account the local cultural issues when reviewing existing destinations and looking at new ones
- We only use suppliers that operate trips in a way that encourages positive cultural exchanges
- We aim to use suppliers that source small locally owned campsites, hotels, guest houses and home stays to provide accommodation. We aim to use local businesses to provide activities, where possible, thus ensuring money is put directly back into the communities that we visit
- We use suppliers that develop long term relationships within the local communities to ensure that economic benefits are ongoing and continuous.
- We ensure that the local suppliers and operators receive a fair rate for their services and support and encourage fair employment practices
- We take into account local economic issues when looking at new destinations
- We endeavour to work with all relevant local bodies and authorities to help preserve or improve the environment and deliver a long-term benefit for the host community.
- Where possible we choose suppliers who have green practices in place.
- We attempt to reduce the use of single use plastic water bottles by encouraging the use of a filter water bottle and we are able to offer Imaginative Traveller customers a 25% discount on Water to Go bottles and filters using the code IT25 www.watertogo.eu/imaginativetraveller
- We encourage all of our customers not to use single use plastic bags
- Where possible, we try to lead by example in our offices by recycling, monitoring and reducing, our energy and water usage
- We favour suppliers who offset your carbon emissions
- We only use suppliers that actively discourage the exploitation of local people.
- We aim to engage with suppliers that demonstrate a duty of care towards the people they employ.
- We aim to ensure that everyone in our supply chains are free of human trafficking and slavery and actively encourage you to disclose any concerns that you may have.
- We explicitly forbid any participation in or endorsement of commercial sexual activities, exploitative sexual activities or illegal drug use from staff or customers.
- We do not engage with suppliers that exploit children in tourism and we do not visit orphanages
- We want to help protect animals from exploitation, neglect and cruelty.
- We oppose practices that have a negative impact on animal welfare whilst at the same time respecting the local customs and methods of animal husbandry.
- We no longer offer elephant riding on our adventures. To read more about our approach to elephant riding and why we have made this decision see link to elephant riding
- We aim to minimise any impact on wildlife through our policy for “Responsible Wildlife Viewing”
- We actively discourage the buying of items made from any protected wildlife.
- We attempt to integrate the ethos of responsible travel throughout our organisation.
- We review our responsible tourism policy on an annual basis to ensure that it is in tune with current needs.
- We recognise that tourism can bring benefits to many communities, help preserve the environments we travel through and provide some real and positive social exchanges. In addition to our responsible travel philosophy, we have actively sought some specific small-scale projects for you to visit and support.
Quick Responsible Travel Links
Imaginative Traveller trip assists Colchester Zoo’s UmPhafa Reserve
A trip set up by Imaginative Traveller for Colchester Zoo to bring visitors to their UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve in KwaZulu Natal has helped raise over £2,000 for charity Action for the Wild. This will help fund Field Rangers and vital research equipment. The rangers play a crucial role in assisting with security as well as monitoring high priority species and the equipment in the form of one GPS and camera traps which will provide an insight into species' movements around the reserve.
Camera traps are a great tool to have on a reserve as they give important information that is very difficult to gather by other means; showing the activity and distribution of some of the more elusive animals on the reserve, particularly at night. The information gathered from the camera traps will be used to update species lists for certain areas and also to create distribution lists. As an example, photos captured of leopards across the reserve have given us good indication of the individuals operating in each area and has allowed staff to roughly determine distribution across the reserve and their population makeup.
The trip which was put together by Imaginative Traveller takes in South Africa and Swaziland and spent time at Kruger as well as Colchester Zoo's reserve. Those on the tour had the exclusive chance to see how it operates and met the team and drove through the bush to spot some of the amazing animals that have been introduced to the area.