Beyond Tourism – an agency dedicated to making responsible tourism mainstream – has been launched with an aim of helping individuals consider the ethical and environmental impact of their holidays, while not sacrificing the quality.
Working with partners that share its commitment in responsible tourism, as well as with local ethical firms, Beyond Tourism says it will look to ensure that money generated from travelling goes directly into helping the communities at social, cultural and environmental levels.
The firm makes sure that companies at the destination incorporate both ethical and sustainable practices into their business model.
Co-founder David Tucker, who was previously a campaigner with Traidcraft, War on Want and Tourism Concern, said, “We are different because of our aim to be completely responsible. Some companies are partly responsible, some might do it as an add-on, but we are committed to integrating it right into the heart of our operations.”
Examples of social and environmental goals achieved by Beyond Tourism include training street children in hospitality in Cambodia, creating sustainable tourism for mountain communities in Peru and culture protection of indigenous tribes in Costa Rica.
The company also has a keen eye on reducing its own environmental impact, by giving preference to accommodation providers that use renewable energy and waste water management practices and are suitably designed from local and recycled materials.
Simon Forster, Beyond Tourism’s other co-founder, said, “[David and I] both love travelling and are very aware that tourism often harms unique and beautiful people and places, but it really doesn’t have to.
“We started The Beyond Tourism to show that you can create amazing holidays that also help economic development and bring people together in friendship and shared experience.”