The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

HOW do you know if your hol­i­day is harm­ing the planet?

Kerry Lorimer, who wrote Lonely Planet’s CodeGreen:Ex­pe­ri­ence­sofa Life­time ($29.95), says tour op­er­a­tors, ho­tels and lodges that are gen­uine in their approach to re­spon­si­ble tourism will have a writ­ten pol­icy cov­er­ing their en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact, em­ploy­ment and cul­tural pol­icy. If they don’t, she sug­gests ask­ing them why. Ask how they im­ple­ment their pol­icy.

How they are deal­ing with the main en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues fac­ing them? Do they em­ploy lo­cal guides, lead­ers and staff and pro­vide train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties?

Do they limit the size of their groups to min­imise en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial im­pact? Do they have a green pur­chas­ing pol­icy? Do they work with the lo­cal com­mu­nity? If so, what pro­por­tion of their rev­enue is redi­rected to that com­mu­nity? What in­for­ma­tion do they of­fer their clients on re­spon­si­ble travel?

Lorimer says that if an op­er­a­tor is get­ting it right, they’ll be proud of it and will be happy to an­swer ques­tions. She says CodeGreen draws to­gether al­most 82 re­spon­si­ble travel ex­pe­ri­ences across the planet, linked by three prin­ci­ples: tread lightly; im­merse your­self in the cul­ture; and have a pos­i­tive eco­nomic ben­e­fit on the lo­cal com­mu­nity. Barry Oliver

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