Responsible travel has never been more important. We have seen first-hand the devastating effects COVID-19 has had on many businesses, community projects, wildlife and conservation initiatives around the world. In a report from The World Tourism organisation, it’s predicted that 120 million jobs worldwide are at risk, with economic damage likely to exceed over $1 trillion in 2020 alone. Supporting tourism means supporting livelihoods, developing infrastructures and ultimately deepening cultural connections.
At Trafalgar we make touring a force for good. Through JoinTrafalgar and powered by the TreadRight Foundation, we help our guests make a positive impact by making their travels matter for the planet, for wildlife, and for people.
Here are seven reasons why touring with Trafalgar is the most responsible way to travel.
1. Trafalgar’s coaches are environmentally friendly
You may not realise, but coach travel is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. The average coach journey creates 0.04 tonnes of CO2 emissions per 1,000 miles whereas an average car would create 0.29 tonnes per 1,000 miles. Guided tours by coach enable you to reduce your CO2 emissions compared to travelling solo by car. What’s more, group travel on a coach is more eco-friendly than exploring locally by train, as national rail services produce 0.07 per 1,000 miles per passenger.*
For example, if you took a trip to Rome, heading to Pompeii, Assisi, Venice, Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Pisa, Florence, San Gimignano, and finishing in Rome that would have an environmental cost of 0.43 tonnes of CO2 per car. The same itinerary with Trafalgar (Best of Italy) would only create 0.07 tonnes of CO2 per passenger.*
*All figures are based on 2 people travelling in an average 1.6L petrol car vs. average emissions from a 48 seater coach. Statistics taken from www.carbonfootprint.com.
2. No single use plastic on a Trafalgar tour
Plastic is destroying our planet. At the rate at which plastic is accumulating in the oceans, it’s predicted that by 2050, the mass of plastic in the world’s oceans will exceed the mass of all the fish that live there. Additionally, scientists have detected micro-plastics (smaller than 5mm) in salt, beer, seafood and even in our bodies. The statistics are terrifying.
Our parent company The Travel Corporation (TTC), has committed to removing all avoidable single-use plastics across all operations by 2022. As part of TTC’s commitment to responsible travel over the next two years, Trafalgar will phase out all single-use plastics from our guided tours and offices.
We have eliminated the sale of plastic water bottles on coaches and single-use luggage tags preventing several hundreds of thousands of plastics entering our oceans. We also actively encourage our guests to bring reusable water bottles and recycle where possible as a larger part of our efforts, to remove unnecessary single use plastics from our operations globally.
3. TreadRight – A decade of responsible travel
In 2008, TTC created the not-for-profit TreadRight Foundation. TreadRight has three core pillars: People, Wildlife and Planet. Their mission is to have a positive impact on the people and communities we visit, to protect wildlife and marine life and to care for the planet we call home. Simply put, to travel responsibly. Since its inception a decade ago, the organisation has supported more than 55 sustainable tourism projects worldwide to date. Read more about some of the projects Trafalgar and TreadRight Foundation have supported below.
4. Trafalgar supports the Iraq Al-Amir Women’s Cooperative
The Iraq Al-Amir Women’s Cooperative is a small organisation in the municipality of Amman, which aims to financially empower local women by employing them to learn, make and sell foods and handicrafts in the cooperative’s gift shop and online.
With the TreadRight Foundation’s ongoing support, the organisation is hoping to continue to provide materials for the handicrafts, extend the on-site gift shop with the added assistance of a merchandising expert and grow their food services – ensuring stable employment for more women in the area and helping to bridge the gap to equality.
You can meet these fabulous women and help support the initiative on day 9 of our Best of Israel and Jordan tour. You’ll learn first-hand learn how the women make soap from olive oil, and create beautiful greeting cards and notebooks from recycled paper. You can even put your creative skills to the test and have a go at making your own beautiful gift before enjoying a lunch prepared by the women.
5. One Tree Planted
Forests cover approximately 30% of the planet’s land mass but sadly, humans are cutting down trees on a mass scale. This has a detrimental effect on wildlife, ecosystems, weather patterns, and even the climate. If the current rate of deforestation continues, it is believed that in less than 100 years, we will have lost all our rainforests.
In 2014, we forged a partnership with One Tree Planted to raise funds towards the reforestation of areas in Africa, North America, Asia and the South Pacific. Over the years, we have planted 100 acres of trees to help reforest the planet one tree at a time.
“Whilst planting trees may not prevent forest fires or extreme weather events, reforestation organisations work to educate communities and businesses on sustainable practices and can help to mitigate the risk of mass tree loss.” – Matt Hill, founder of One Tree Planted.
We are committed to responsible travel and helping our guests to make a difference. As well as donating to One Tree Planted’s reforestation projects, we encourage all of our guests opt for e-documentation, in return for a tree donation being made.
RELATED CONTENT: Reforesting the Planet – Our Partnership with One Tree Planted
6. Trafalgar and Australia’s wildlife crisis
In summer 2019 to summer 2020, Australia suffered devastating bushfires that ravaged the country. Burning over 18 million hectares and killing 3 billion animals, the bushfires were known locally as the ‘Black Summer’, with experts calling the fires one of the worst wildlife disasters in modern history.
In partnership with our parent company TTC, Trafalgar felt compelled to reach out and help the NSW Rural Fire Service. The danger they put themselves in to protect the community and surrounding area was incredibly heroic. That’s why in December, we donated $100K to the NSW Rural Fire Service. The funds have gone towards technology and necessities such as radios, floodlights, GPS for the trucks, maintenance, fuel, food and training. We are also working closely with our partner One Tree Planted on a project to restore over 6 million trees in Australia once conditions allow.
DONATE HERE: Plant a tree in Australia
7. Trafalgar protects 100+ livelihoods
At Trafalgar, we protect 100+ livelihoods through our exclusive Be My Guest experiences. Our Be My Guest story began in 2009 at the home of the Esposito sisters in Sorrento, Italy, who welcomed our guests into their home over a home cooked meal and limoncello. Ever since, we’ve been offering immersive local experiences across a range of our tours.
Whether it’s meeting Kyoko & Tomoko Nakamura, for a lesson on Japanese imperial history at their beautiful ryokan, or foraging for local delicacies with Oonagh on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, our Be My Guest experiences helps support families, businesses and communities worldwide.
From reforestation projects to supporting local businesses through our Be My Guest experiences and eliminating single-use plastics on all guided tours, responsible travel is at the backbone of everything we do. For more information on our initiatives, take a look at our responsible travel page. \
How do you travel responsibly? What do you do to make your travels matter? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, we’d love to hear them!