Green holiday companies

Holidays are big business but can be beneficial to the host countries. The impact of flying and of tourism on host countries is significant but much can be done to reduce their effect.

Tourism Concern is a membership organisation that fights exploitation in tourism and promotes responsible tourism. Their website provides a good introduction to the issues, which they research, and their campaigns. They publish the “Ethical Travel Guide” which lists places to visit and stay in over 60 countries and other useful resources.

The EcoholidayShop has lots of self catering places to choose from, not all yurts and tepees, but holiday cottages, apartments and log cabins that are doing their bit to redress the environmental impact of tourism.

The Ecofriendly Tourist website provides lots of ideas, inspiration and useful information. Sections include: no fly zone (travelling other than by air), fly smart, volunteering, UK holidays and eco-friendly tour operators.

The following listings do not attempt to be complete, nor does Green Choices vouch for their green/ethical credentials, but they are intended to provide a starting point.

Listings of tour operators

  • Association of Independent Tour Operators represents specialist and smaller tour operators. Their website includes a database searchable by country and type of holiday – one option is ‘wildlife and nature’ which has subthemes including, for example ‘polar bear watching’ or ‘dragon watching’!
  • Special Places to Stay publish guides to small, independent and family-run hotels, inns and B&Bs across Europe, all chosen with environmental and ethical concerns in mind, and a guide to “Green Places to Stay”. Partner services available through their websites include ferry and train tickets, travel insurance and other holiday essentials.

Vegetarian/organic holidays

Working holidays

Eco campingSpecific tour operators

  • Bicycle Beano Cycling Holidays explore the peaceful lanes of the Pembrokeshire Coast and Snowdonia national parks, the Welsh Borders, the Vale of the White Horse, and the South Downs. Price includes accommodation with vegetarian breakfasts and dinners, often using organic and/or fairtrade ingredients, route maps and support.
  • Devon Eco Holidays – Ecotourism all powered by sun, wind, wood and water!
  • Steppes Discovery offer a range of unique nature and wildlife based safaris, study tours and research expeditions, worldwide.
  • Nature Travels specialises in responsible outdoor and wildlife experiences in Sweden.
  • Tribes offers holidays and safaris run on fair trade and responsible travel principles.
  • Wildlife Travel was set up by the Wildlife Trusts to promote good practice in ecotourism and to support conservation and organises holidays combining wildlife, conservation and cultural aspects.
  • WildWings are a leading wildlife tour operator and specialist travel agency who operate bird-watching, whale and dolphin watching plus mammal watching holidays worldwide. They also specialise in expedition cruising to the Antarctic and The Arctic and are UK agents for Ecovolunteers, working wildlife conservation holidays.
  • Wild Guernsey is a growing educational and sustainable agricultural land project. They want to re-connect to the land & share this knowledge with those who wish to join them. They run Workshops & Wild foraging courses, offer Wildcamping on the land and sell our produce at the farmers Markets and local stores.  Profits that they make are re-invested in the project.
 

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