In honor of this year’s Earth Day, April 20, 2022, we want to highlight some of our most treasured travel partners, all of which uphold the three pillars of sustainable tourism:
- Environmental: Strive to lessen their environmental footprint, and respect, protect, and preserve the wildlife, ecology, and natural heritage of their destinations;
- Socio-Cultural: Respect locals and their traditions, engage in cultural exchanges with locals in order to foster understanding, and volunteer to help with and/or contribute to projects that will benefit the local community;
- Economic: Encourage long-term benefits to local communities by training and employing locals, and paying them a fair living wage.
If sustainable travel is important to you,
have a look at these 10 sustainably-focused travel partners
of Avenue Two Travel:
Natural Habitat Adventures
In business since 1985, this small-group tour company partners with the World Wildlife Fund to provide encounters with wild, remote places that are largely inaccessible to tourist crowds. Destinations include U.S. National Parks, African safari preserves, polar bear and panda habitats, and Brazil’s Pantanal. Naturalist guides offer both expert interpretation and personal attention, and luxury lodgings are designed to blend into their natural surroundings and provide close proximity to wildlife. Awarded Best Trip & Tour Operator by Newsweek’s 2021 Future of Travel Awards, Nat Hab reconnects travelers with the natural world, protecting it in the process.
Lindblad brings eco-conscious travelers to the world’s most remarkable places, aboard its own fleet of the world’s most advanced expedition ships. A 100% carbon- neutral operation awarded #1 Small Ship Cruise Line by the 2021 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, Lindblad offers in-depth programs throughout the world, including Costa Rica, Alaska, the South Pacific, Indonesia, New Zealand, and the Arctic. The company’s charitable sponsorships include beach and ocean clean-up efforts, wildlife research studies, and grants that support environmental protection and conservation.
Sky Bar, 1 Hotel Haitang Bay in Sanya, China
All of 1 Hotels’ lifestyle properties—set in New York, San Francisco, Nashville, Kauai, South Beach, Toronto, and more—are LEED-certified, 100% carbon neutral, and immersed in their local communities. Each hotel focuses on wellness, fitness, and sustainable culinary experiences employing products and ingredients sourced from small, local, sustainably-run operations. Founded in 2015, the company has so far donated $500,000+ to organizations like Housing Works, Oceanic Global, and The Nature Conservancy.
Operating exclusively within Colombia, this Galavanta specializes in a balanced blend of high-end luxury and responsible tourism. They’re committed to minimizing their environmental impact, providing fair treatment and pay to their staff and partners, and preserving Colombia’s wild places and creatures. Galavanta can arrange stays in eco-lodges and private villas in remote landscapes; introduce you to Colombian artists, makers, chefs, and traditional llaneros (cowboys); guide you along the humpback whale migration; arrange diving excursions from off-grid islands; and a whole lot more.
This South American exploration company has been B Corp-certified, a positive measure of its entire social and environmental impact. Founded in 1993, Explora offers walking, hiking, biking, and horseback adventures in its own collection of six eco-lodges in remote areas: San Pedro de Atacama, Torres del Paine, Rapa Nui and Patagonia National Park, in Chile; Sacred Valley in Peru; and El Chaltén, in Argentina.
Big Five Tours & Expeditions
Since 1973, this sustainably-focused, family-owned safari outfitter has been providing insightful soft-adventure itineraries in Africa, Asia, Central and South America and South Pacific that promote cultural preservation, community integrity, and conservation of ecosystems and wildlife. Their Spirit of Big Five Foundation supports conservation, cultural preservation, poverty alleviation, education, and healthcare projects in the local communities where they operate. In 2021, they added a new East African gorilla program, as well as several new programs in Egypt.
Fogo Island Inn
Set on eastern Canada’s remote Fogo Island, this destination hotel is part of a charity initiative that aims to secure strong economic futures for rural communities. Winner of the 2021’s Regenerative Travel Impact Award for Hotel of the Year, the 29-room Inn has been thoughtfully designed to only lightly impact its pristine surroundings, and features art, furnishings, and cuisine that’s been sourced from local producers. The Inn works actively to uplift local Indigenous peoples like the Beothuk, Mi’kmaq, and Inuit by providing training, promotion, and mentorship opportunities, as well as providing a platform for sharing and preserving traditional knowledge and culture.
Owned by the Dilmah Tea Company, this collection of three small, luxury resorts across Sri Lanka offer peerless service and a wide range of authentic experiences, while contributing to local communities and the environment through the MJF Foundation and Dilmah Conservation. The only Relais & Chateaux properties in Sri Lanka, these eco-friendly resorts offer three different landscapes: tea fields (Ceylon Tea Trails), a clifftop overlooking the Indian Ocean (Cape Weligama) and Yala National Park, known for wild leopards (Wild Coast Tented Lodge).
Once owned by actor Marlon Brando, this LEED-certified luxury resort is on the French Polynesian private island of Tetiaroa, 30 miles northeast of Tahiti. The 35 Polynesian-style villas here were built with local, renewable, and recycled materials, and sit on white-sand beaches frequented by sea turtles, manta rays, and exotic birds. Committed to preserving and protecting Tetiaroa, The Brando built and gifted an Ecostation to the nonprofit Tetiaroa Society, and are close to achieving a negligible carbon footprint by using a deep seawater air-conditioning system, biofuel, and solar power.
Bush & Beyond Camps
Entirely Kenyan-owned and staffed, Bush & Beyond is the Nairobi-based reservations office for a collection of 11 independent and owner-run safari properties in Kenya. These properties are set on community and wildlife conservancies, a UNESCO world heritage site (Lewa Wildlife Conservancy) and private land. Three Bush & Beyond properties—House in the Wild, Lewa House, and Sarara Tree—are actively involved in wildlife conservation efforts, while Sarara Tree, Ol Malo, and Tangulia connect guests with local communities and cultures.
Have a Happy Earth Day, everyone!