Greener adventure tourism: how we can better protect nature’s resources
Written by Julia Tregaskis-Allen
29 May 2016
Making Friends in the Mountains
Greener adventure tourism: how we can better protect nature’s resources As an adventure travel company, Tracks and Trails has been a pioneer in developing a more sustainable approach to both summer and winter tourism. Our long-term commitment to protecting the environment is best evidenced by the approach we created and nurtured in our ongoing sustainability programme. Over time we’ve further developed and enhanced this program for our clients in each of our travel products. Recognising our approach, as early as 2010, when the Tracks and Trails business was still in its infancy, we were identified as a leader in greener, more sustainable travel. Ten travel and tourism experts judging entrants in The Guardian Green Travel List selected Tracks and Trails as a leader amongst travel companies that had significantly reduced their business’s carbon footprint. Tracks and Trails was chosen primarily for its innovative and sustained engagement in finding solutions to develop lower impact travel by encouraging the use of public transportation and more environmentally friendly accommodation services in its products for travellers. In 2011 we gained yet another stamp of approval from 'Much Better Adventures' - a website working to promote companies offering a genuine, sustainable approach to travel and adventures in the outdoors.
We believe as a business that we can do our bit by offering activities that are kind on the environment while subtly educating our guests and local people about the need to protect and preserve the environment. Tracks and Trails takes the time to develop itineraries that are sensitive to the needs of the environment and also help sustain the local communities in which we travel by engaging and supporting small local businesses and having a strong "no trace" policy where they leave only footprints. We understand that in developing our activities and providing a positive travel experience for our clients we can also pass on our knowledge and expertise to those businesses, public agencies and other individuals whom we come into contact on a daily basis - in this way we share our understanding of sustainability and develop its practice, but also take the time to listen and gain feedback from others living and working where we travel.
The process of engagement and discussion often provides us with new insight and opportunities to further develop our approach to sustainable tourism and encourage other tour operators to participate in dialogue and work towards limiting our long-term impact on the environment and the depletion of natural resources. In this respect we see our ongoing engagement in working with other partners in the outdoor and travel industries to develop access to outdoor programs and sports activities for young people as a key part of widening consciousness, and recognition that sustainability is critical to our long-term wellbeing as a society.