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Make the most of your hol­i­days with DIVA’S travel tips

We all love to travel, but the hard truth is that our hol­i­day choices can have a neg­a­tive im­pact on the world around us. All-in­clu­sive hol­i­days of­ten mean lit­tle rev­enue ends up in the hands of lo­cal peo­ple, in­creased air travel ex­pands our car­bon foot­print, and around the world an­i­mals suf­fer as wild habi­tats are ex­ploited. It can seem like the last thing you want to do when plan­ning a re­lax­ing hol­i­day is think about your re­spon­si­bil­ity – but mak­ing a sus­tain­able choice doesn’t have to in­volve lots of ex­tra work. De­fined by the In­ter­na­tional Eco­tourism So­ci­ety ( eco­tourism.org) as “re­spon­si­ble travel to nat­u­ral ar­eas that con­serves the environment, sus­tains the well­be­ing of the lo­cal peo­ple, and in­volves in­ter­pre­ta­tion and ed­u­ca­tion”, eco­tourism is on the rise. Some of the big­ger travel op­er­a­tors are start­ing to cot­ton on ( just search for their sus­tain­able op­tions) but there are also sev­eral in­de­pen­dent tools to help you make in­formed de­ci­sions. UK char­ity Tourism Con­cern ( tourism­con­cern.org.uk) cam­paigns for sus­tain­able tourism and their Eth­i­cal Travel Guide of­fers mem­bers ideas for what they call “guilt free” travel. Eco Com­pan­ion ( eco­com­pan­ion.com) is a new ini­tia­tive, whose web­site you can search for free for vol­un­teer projects, sa­faris, trips and ac­com­mo­da­tion, all of which are rated ac­cord­ing to sus­tain­abil­ity. From desert ele­phant con­ser­va­tion in Namibia to div­ing in In­done­sia, there are lots of op­tions if you are look­ing for a hol­i­day with a real dif­fer­ence.

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