CRACK THE CODE FOR A VERDANT EXPERIENCE
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