Sustainable Tour Operator: Tribes
Over the last couple of weeks we approached independent responsible tour operators. These are the companies who, to quote Professor of Responsible Tourism, Harold Goodwin, are “taking responsibility for using tourism for sustainable development. It is about what you do, what you take responsibility for achieving.” MD Amanda Marks answers questions about Tribes.
What is the name of your company?
In 140-characters or less what do you specialise in?
Authentic holidays in Africa, Latin America & India – tailor made by people who care that your experience is good for you and the destination.
Tell us a little bit about your team/key people
Tribes is an owner-run company led by husband and wife team Amanda and Guy Marks. They both started their life in travel as overlanders and guides, heading across Africa, South America and the subcontinent for months at a time. Guy became a freelance travel writer and photographer writing for such varied publications as the Financial Times and Wanderlust, before he became full time at Tribes heading the Asia and Latin America department. Amanda’s focus has always been on marketing, and she oversees the company’s Africa product.
They and their small travel regularly to keep on top of changes in the destinations they sell, and pride themselves in offering the best possible advice to their loyal clients. Ensuring that all clients have the very best holiday possible is personal to the whole Tribes team.
What’s the most memorable/moving travel experience you’ve had?
Tribes believes strongly in sustainable travel, and has good contacts with many community initiatives around the world. A few years ago I travelled with 10 members of our family – Guy and our 2 boys, and including my father, to a remote Maasai village called Olmolog to which we and friends had donated money in memory of my mother. The welcome we had from the children and elders was heart-warming, and their delight in their 2 new school buildings and 10 toilets that the donation paid for was just wonderful. The kids had made us a special song and dance too. My Dad was proud and moved, my Mum would have been delighted, I have never forgotten it.
If you were stuck on a desert island, which famous person would you like to be stuck with and why?
Neil Gaiman, writer of books I love such as Neverwhere, Anansi Boys, Ocean at the End of the Lane. I think boredom and claustrophobia must be the real killer on a desert island – especially for a traveller such as myself. I could fairly happily look after myself, but having someone there to keep me sane with great stories would be wonderful. You can travel anywhere with a great storyteller.
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