What role does responsible tourism play in the global travel industry? How are indigenous communities affected by things like flight-shaming and worry about changes to our climate?
Our local teams in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile have all expressed concern over recent popular movements that discourage climate-conscious travelers from organizing big vacations or trips that rely on air travel. What happens to local economies when global movements and trends discourage people from traveling long distances or to faraway lands? Are the concerns legitimate? Probably yes because all lifestyle choices and activities impact our planet in some way. But did you know that the fashion industry produces more carbon than flying and maritime transport combined? It turns out that 85% of garments end up in the dump each year and washing some modern fabrics produces thousands of tiny bits of plastic that end up in the ocean. Consumers are buying more clothing than ever and keeping them for half as long. The list goes on. And the point is that all our behaviors have some impact and it's up to us to curb out habits and make more thoughtful choices.
Ask yourself these questions:
- can buying carbon offsets fix the problem?
- are there strategies that individuals can employ to reduce their overall impact of their carbon footprint?
- who profits when you travel?
- do you understand the difference between a local family-owned lodging or service and a corporate luxury hotel? where do the profits end up?
We'd like to share our philosophy about the positive impact of ethical tourism and eco-friendly travel practices.
We believe that travel companies play an important role in balancing the needs of indigenous communities while simultaneously minimizing the burdens of travel in general. Adios Adventure Travel is co-founded by Jacquie Whitt and Vidal Jaquehua, with shared equity between the founding partners. We wholeheartedly support ethical tourism and management using sustainable principles of travel through several actions:
- by supporting regional cultures and ancient traditions in qechua and aymara communities
- arranging "second city tourism" curated trips to lesser known and uncrowded places in South America
- advancing fair employment practices for guides, drivers, porters and cooks
- investing profits in local economy
- employing local guides, porters, cooks and drivers
- benefit indigenous and cottage industries
- reinforce fair trade and equal education for all
- focusing on authentic travel experiences
- furthering sustainable local economic improvement
- partnering with local and regional agencies and consultants
- working with affordable locally-owned hotels and lodges
- limiting and reducing the use of non-recyclable, single-use plastics
How important is travel to the global economy?
In South America and other non-western countries around the world, there is no government support when people don't work. Employment is critical to supporting a family and maintaining a healthy life. Most travelers to South America rely on air travel. Cruise ships offer a secondary means of travel to South America for those who have time and the budget. The survival of indigenous people including guides, porters, cooks and drivers is directly dependent upon tourism dollars.
Inca Trail porters and cooks come from small qechua villages in the Andes Mountains. Many of them are farmers who use the wages from working on the Inca Trail to sustain their families who live in the villages.
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