Five steps to a successful towel and linen reuse scheme

Following several recent news stories about hotel approaches to towel and linen sustainability, here is a simple guide to getting it right. 1:  USE THE MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY MATERIALS POSSIBLE W Hotels in North America have launched a new range of bed linen made from recycled plastic bottles. Early May saw the hotel launch the Ekocycle range of bedlinen, designed in a partnership between Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas, and Coca Cola. Each king size Ekocycle sheet contains around 31 … [Read more...]

How tourism can help the people of Nepal today

Since the earthquake in Nepal on April 25th, travel companies from across the world have launched fund raising drives to help the country's people. Intrepid's non-profit arm the Intrepid Foundation received more than $40,000 within the first 24 hours of launching its appeal. The speed and scale of responses like this makes two things immediately clear: these companies have sizeable networks of supporters who trust what they say, and there are a lot of tourists who want to help. But can people - … [Read more...]

Innovator Spotlight: discover hidden Peru with Amazonas Explorer

For 30 years Amazonas Explorer has been taking travellers to see the best that Peru has to offer. Their owner Paul Cripps spoke to Jeremy Smith about the challenges of running a responsible tourism business in South America 1: What inspired you to create your business? I actually bought the business from a fellow rafting enthusiast twenty five years ago. I was out here rafting and kayaking as much as possible and the opportunity came up. To be honest the original motivation was to just enable me … [Read more...]

African Responsible Tourism Award winners are ‘reinventing’ travel to continent

Looking across the winners of the inaugural African Responsible Tourism Awards, one encouraging trend is clear. Several of the winners are not just examples of what you might class as typical 'African' tourism done well. Instead, they are challenging such preconceptions and stereotypes, and reinventing traditional tourism models along the way. Take Chobe Game Lodge in Botswana, which has won the Best for Resource Management Award. Not only does it have the 'most advanced biogas plant in any … [Read more...]

How to turn waste management into a tourism attraction

So bad has the problem of rubbish and human waste despoiling the world's tallest mountain become, that starting this month, climbers on Mount Everest will have to bring back 8kg of rubbish and waste per person. This will be weighed and checked and only when confirmed will their climbing group be given back their $4,000 deposit. When I first read this story I saw it as a positive step. Visitors were being compelled to take responsibility for their impact. Then I noticed on the BBC that the 8kg … [Read more...]

Innovator Spotlight: Making ski-holidays more sustainable with Snowcarbon

Jeremy Smith speaks to Daniel Elkan, who founded Snowcarbon to make it easier for skiers travelling to the Alps to get there as sustainably as possible. 1: What inspired you to create your business? I set up Snowcarbon to help other skiers have a more sustainable and enjoyable journey to the Alps. Many people who fly or drive to the Alps would actually prefer to travel by train if they were able to find out how to do it, or persuade their friends to. Even though I didn’t know it at the time, you … [Read more...]

Tourism and water use – time for some fresh thinking

I've been looking into hotel water sustainability innovations over the last few days, trying to find some stories for a blog to mark World Water Day, which happened last Sunday. I've been reading how water accounts for 10% of utility bills in many hotels. And how globally demand for water is projected to exceed supply by 40% by 2030. I've also read many of the efforts the industry is making. Of the impact of low flow showerheads and toilets, or simply washing smaller loads in smaller machines. … [Read more...]

Who are the real climate change innovators in tourism?

When ResponsibleTravel.com announced the call for entries for the annual World Responsible Tourism Awards a few days ago, there was one new category I was particularly pleased to see introduced. According to the blurb on responsibletravel's website, the new "Award for Innovation for Carbon Reduction" will recognise "an innovative and transparent approach to reducing carbon" I like the way this award has been framed. First, that key word "transparent". Over the years there has been too much … [Read more...]

Will Airbnb and the sharing economy hurt or help responsible tourism?

A few years ago I visited around 200 ecolodges, homestays, community run guests houses etc around the world as part of my research for a book on the best in sustainable tourism. As a result of my experiences, I knew I would always seek out these places for my own holidays. Not just because of their ethics, but because I had a much better time. I met more inspiring people, got closer to wildlife, stayed in more remarkable places. Over the last two months I have been exploring what has happened … [Read more...]

Innovator Spotlight: exploring India’s wilderness with Wild Navigator

Wild Navigator is a new company set up to connect responsible travellers to authentic wilderness experiences across the Indian Subcontinent. Jeremy Smith spoke to its founder, Abishek Behl about the challenges of building a responsible business in such a competitive market. What inspired you to create your business? My inspiration was partly was to do with me being in the travel industry for over 16 years and out of these years, have been very lucky to be traveling / researching to the best … [Read more...]