Sustainable and Responsible Travel, not just fashion words!
Tourism has grown at an accelerated pace over the last few decades, with more than a billion tourists now travelling to an international destination each year. One of the main motivations of tourism is mankind’s inherent curiosity and desire to explore cultural identities across the world. Natural and cultural heritage sites, including scenic landscapes and revitalized historic towns, are prized tourism assets that distinguish one destination from another.
What is Responsible Travel?
Responsible travel is simply this: Being socially and culturally aware when you travel, understanding your affect on the places you visit and trying to make that affect a positive one.
Travels with Audrey is committed to the guidelines put forth by the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) and the World Tourism Organization. We work with local affiliates and partners to protect local economies from the negative impacts of the travel industry and safeguarding traditions and culture. I have lived and studied in several European countries, have family and friends living in Europe, so my respect for the regions I specialize in is genuine and profound. Furthermore, my lifetime of experience in the travel industry has led me to ensure responsible travel in the following three ways:
Embracing boutique travel: All tourism has the potential to offer both positive and negative impacts on local regions. Specializing in what I call “boutique travel” (customized private tours) is part of my unshakable commitment to sustainable tourism and is entrenched in my travel philosophy.
Thinking local: When creating customized itineraries, it is my mission to offer a balance between visiting well-known sites and attractions off the beaten path, lesser-known villages and regions that may not otherwise reap the benefits from tourism. Our guides are licensed locals able to offer insights into the local history, culture and customs, and our itineraries are designed to support local businesses and artisans. For instance, the food for your meals is purchased by local chefs from local markets, and you can browse unique, family-owned shops. Our guides and tour managers do not partake in commission stops; all recommendations are genuine so we may assist our guests in supporting regional communities. Even in popular locations, I offer guests the chance to enjoy authentic local life experiences. I have seen firsthand how this approach to travel ensures a more harmonious relationship with communities and supports local economies.
Reducing our carbon footprint: At Travels with Audrey, we always choose fuel-efficient vehicles. On some private, customized itineraries, clients travel by train or local ferry where applicable. Another key benefit is that our mode of transportation allows us to get into places where large tour buses cannot go, so guests can mingle with the locals, drive on picturesque country roads and visit small villages along the way.
When selecting everything from accommodations to the places we enjoy culinary delights, Travels with Audrey is committed to making a difference. You can play a part in reducing your carbon footprint by choosing to travel more slowly, taking longer, but less frequent trips. I hope that each of our guests will help support these efforts to think local and be sustainable. Responsible travel is our responsibility.
Audrey De Monte
Owner, Operator of Travels with Audrey
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