Our commitment to SUSTAINABLE tourism
We have been working in tourism for over 10 years and sustainable tourism has been in our DNA since the very beginning. Our efforts to sustainability paid off in 2013 when we obtained the Travelife certification for tour operators and becoming the first and only Spanish travel agency to gain this global recognition in sustainable tourism. Now in 2019, we are in the process of the certification renewal.
During the last decade, our sustainable tourism road has been confronted with many challenges. However, we have always been consistent with our values and showing that positive impact tourism is possible and beneficial for the destination, the local heritage and the communities.
Our added value has always been the way we do business and have an internal policy as a responsible tourism business. This is shown in our Work and Family Life Plan, our Environmental Management Plan and our Policy Purchase, where we prioritize green and local providers. In addition to this, we have a Fair Price Policy with all our tourism providers and collaborators.
We apply the GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council) criteria to our operations and design of travel experiences and we prioritize working with accommodation providers owned and managed by local people. Sometimes these are also led by women and other groups at risk of social exclusion, so that we can be sure that our activity and the travellers journey fully support local and social entrepreneurship, aiming to distribute as evenly as possible the profits of tourism.
Our mission is to use the power of tourism to easy overtourism in popular destinations, help towards seasonality and fight against rural depopulation. We believe these key aspects can help towards creating a positive socioeconomic development in Spain, as well as the conservation of our natural and cultural heritage.
Our transformative supply chain
Thanks to our wide experience in travel and tourism in Spain, we have made a unique network of sociocultural and environmental projects and initiatives that we are happy to call our transformative supply chain. These include:
FAADA: a non-profit organization that advocates for animal wellbeing in tourism.
POW: a non-profit organization that works to protect our winters by having travelers, athletes and companies as mountain and snow ambassadors.
PROJECT OLEUM: project created to recover the ecological olive cultivation Arróniz in Rioja Alavesa. People at risk of social exclusion, as people with mental disabilities and inmates of Zaballa prison are involved in the daily activities of the project.
JARDÍN DE SANTA CATALINA: botanical Garden managed by the Anti-AIDS Association of Álava that works with people at risk of exclusion as gardeners and tour guides.
WWF Spain: global organization that fights for the protection of species at risk of extinction in the peninsula.
CAMINO DOS FAROS: a non-for profit that advocates for the protection of the cultural and historical heritage of the lighthouses of the Galician coast.
ALBAOLA FOUNDATION: a non-for profit that recovers the cultural and historical heritage of the Basque fishermen.
CIRCULAR PROJECT: a social enterprise that creates and sells sustainable clothes made in Spain. They are also the providers of our branded staff clothing.
MATILDE ASSOCIATION: a non-for profit that recovers and values the intangible cultural heritage of the orchards in the mining area of Rio Tinto (Huelva).
SOLIDIVE: a non-for profit that advocates and creates sustainable and solidary diving experiences in Spain.
EUROPARC Spain: the Spanish branch of the European network that promotes the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas.
We are also advocates and members of ecotourism and sustainable tourism organizations such as BIDAIETICO, Centro Español de Turismo Responsable (Spanish Responsible Tourism Center), Club de Ecoturismo de España (Spanish Ecotourism Club), Global Ecotourism Network Europe, Global Sustainable Tourism Council and the Adventure Travel Trade Association.
Awards and Recognitions for Sustainable Tourism
Our efforts towards sustainable tourism have also been recognised by external entities and programs in Spain and abroad. This way, we were finalists in the Responsible Travel Awards of the World Travel Market (London) both in 2011 and 2012; we received the ISTUR Award "A real commitment to sustainability" and the AIRELIBRE Responsible Tourism Award in FITUR 2018.
Our vision for the future
In our aim to keep working towards sustainable tourism, we have already set new challenges for the coming years. One of our priorities today is to develop a comprehensive plan to fight climate change from a tour operator perspective by firstly being able to quantify the carbon footprint of our itineraries in Spain. Secondly, we must use this figure as a threshold and aim to reduce it on a yearly basis whilst providing alternatives to travellers to compensate it.
We also aim to declare war to single use plastic in tourism, and this is why we are the first company that actively engages and collaborates with TRAVEL WITHOUT PLASTIC. This is an organisation that advocates for implementing good practices to reduce single use plastic in the hospitality sector, whilst providing alternatives to mainstream plastic products and raising awareness between travellers.
Another short term goal we have today, is to be able to measure our positive socio-economic, cultural and environmental impacts in the Spanish destinations that we operate. For this, we are currently helping developing measurement tools for social impact of international recognition such as B-Corp.
Without the support and collaboration of our travelers and our local hosts, we could not have achieved what we are today. This is why we invite you to become part of our movement for a real sustainable tourism and propose new ideas for improvement and projects in sustainability in which we will be happy to participate.
We believe sustainable tourism is an excellent development tool for Spain. Do you think so too?