Ethical.Travel is a unique travel guide which provides travelers with fantastic ideas for authentic and guilt-free holidays. It is produced by Tourism Concern, a UK-registered charity that promotes ethical and fairly-traded tourism. For each country, the company lists ethical travel considerations, ethical places to stay and see, and ethical tour operators, as well as volunteering organizations that can help make visitors’ stays better for local people and better for themselves.
Thousands of grassroots, low-impact, high-sustainability initiatives all over the world struggle to tell tourists they exist. Very few of these inspirational initiatives have the resources or skills to market themselves in an industry dominated by multinational companies. The Ethical Travel Guide is a challenge to this dominance, seeking to redress the balance in order to make tourism fairer. Ethical.travel is a chance for local communities in destination countries, who are often extremely poor, and dedicated local entrepreneurs, to talk to their customers, and to promote a more authentic and local experience, which they are uniquely able to provide.
Originally produced as a guidebook, the first edition went to reprint within a month of publication and was translated into Dutch and Italian. The second edition proved to be just as popular with travelers who were looking for unique and interesting places to stay around the world – places that bring real benefits to local people. Ethical.travel now allows the company to reach thousands of people across the globe who are looking for unique and interesting places to stay, but that also benefit local people.
Ethical.travel lists hundreds of places, many of which travelers won’t find in conventional guides. Entries include places to stay, organizations, trips, tours, and projects, from canoeing the backwaters of the Amazon to luxury breaks in the Indian Ocean. Travelers can stay in very simple, local-style accommodation or more sophisticated hotels with western plumbing. But they all have one thing in common – they all support the local economy, bringing much needed wealth to communities. It is a tribute to enterprising people all over the world and a fulfillment of Tourism Concern’s commitment to ensure that people in destinations benefit from tourism.
In addition to the listing, Ethical.travel also provides advice and information helping travelers to make better and more-informed choices about their holidays. Subjects covered include whether people should ride an elephant, haggle for goods, or go on a cruise. There is additional information on ethical photography, local etiquette, and environmental considerations.
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PHOTO: Mark Watson, Executive Director