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.