When planning the trip of a lifetime, you may have concerns about how your trip could impact local communities or the environment – but if you make the right choices, you can actually make a positive difference. Sustainable or responsible tourism is a growing trend and one which we embrace at My World Travel Concierge.
There is a lingering misconception that ‘luxury travel’ is synonymous with excessive consumption of local resources, particularly in developing countries with water shortages and fragile environments such as rainforests and coral reefs. However, when it is done in the right way, travel can in fact help to boost local economies, provide long term employment and conserve vital local resources.
We firmly believe that dream holidays are far more about doing something really different, not travelling on a large carbon footprint to enjoy the same comforts that you do at home. There are many hidden gems around the world which not only promise exceptional levels of comfort and service, but they also help to improve their local communities or the environment.
Here are three of our favourite sustainable travel options.
Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
With so many amazing safari destinations to choose from, where do you start? Well, a good way to narrow down the choices might be to consider those places which going above and beyond to help the planet.
In January 2016, the Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia was named as the world’s first – and only – carbon neutral national park. Safari operators within the park have joined forces to develop a sustainable energy plan, with each camp run on solar-generated power. What’s more, any unavoidable emissions are offset through a sustainable system of rewards for reducing greenhouse gases.
The mixed terrain of flood plains, grassy heaths, sandy riverbanks and wild forests makes the Lower Zambezi National Park the ideal habitat for diverse wildlife, including lions, leopards, zebras, wildebeest, elephants and buffalo – to name but a few.
For a place to stay, we can recommend the wonderfully-named Potato Bush or Sausage Tree camps – sister operations which offer a luxury camping experience with stunning panoramic views overlooking the Zambezi River. www.potatobushcamp.com
Elephant Hills Tented Camp, Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
Who doesn’t love to see elephants up close? But sadly, these beautiful creatures are all too often exploited or neglected. At the Elephant Hills Tented Camp, the animals are rescued from illegal operations or from city streets and expertly cared for. It’s the ideal way to get up close to the animals in a responsible way. While guests at the camp are invited to watch the elephants play and get involved with the care, no riding is permitted.
The Elephant Camp comprises 35 luxury tents and has many return guests. If you want to mix things up a little, the camp has a sister operation, an upscale floating Rainforest Camp, located on the emerald green waters of Cheow Larn Lake. It takes around two hours to travel between the two places and we can arrange tours which combine visits to both camps, including activities such as hikes, rafting and other local excursions. www.elephanthills.com
Lapa Rios Lodge, Costa Rica
Lapa Rios is an upscale rainforest experience which positively celebrates and preserves the area’s biodiversity. Lapa Rios also works closely with Earth Equilibrium, a local, charitable initiative which builds school classrooms, dining rooms, and playgrounds – and installs water pumps and solar panels to deliver clean water and electricity to local communities. The lodge also operates its own reforestation project.
In a dream location, set within its own private nature reserve and surrounded by rainforest and the pristine Pacific shoreline, you can relax after a day of exploration by enjoying superb views and fine dining in the elevated open-air restaurant. All accompanied by the sound of crashing waves, interspersed with the chirps and gentle howls of local wildlife. www.laparios.com
These are just a few of our selection of some of the best ‘luxury’ holidays that make a positive impact on the world.
If you want to plan your trip of a lifetime whilst embracing sustainable or responsible tourism, contact us today and let us help you create your dream holiday.