Within the next 10 years, it’s estimated that 1.7 billion people will be travelling every year. It is easy to understand how important our responsibility is, so that the next generations can enjoy the same adventures we have shared. If this situation is left unchecked, large-scale tourism development will damage ecosystems, pollute environment and exploit local communities. Like other forms of development, tourism can cause social dislocation, loss of cultural heritage and ecological degradation. Therefore, learning about the impacts of tourism has led travellers to look for more responsible holidays. Responsible tourism was born.
More than 30 years ago, a movement started, to prevent tourists from destroying the wildlife they came to see. This movement was ‘ecotourism’, with a famous slogan: ‘Take only photographs, leave only footprints.’ Unfortunately, ecotourism (or ‘Green tourism’) focused only on wildlife tourism. Furthermore, it failed to acknowledge that local people live in the places we visit, and that they must also benefit from tourism.
In our opinion, responsible tourism should include all types of tourism (not only “wildlife”, “green” and “nature” travels) . It should deliver ‘better places to live in and to visit’. The first step is to create better places for local people; the second phase being then for tourists.
Responsible tourism aims for us to minimize tourism’s negative impacts on the environment, and maximize the positive contributions tourism can make to local communities.
For us, some values are not negotiable: rejecting racism and intolerance and disrespect of people under any circumstances; commitment to sustainable tourism that benefits all; respect for the social and economic equilibrium of the people we meet: these are the cornerstones of our corporate philosophy.
Responsible tourism was then defined in Cape Town in 2002. Responsible tourism is characterised by tourism which:
- minimises negative economic, environmental and social impacts
- generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities
- involves local people in decisions that affect their lives
- makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world’s diversity
- provides more enjoyable experiences for travellers through meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues
- provides access for people with disabilities and the disadvantaged
- is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between travellers and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.
TRANSFORMING THE WAY WE TRAVEL
OLIVIER VOYAGES (Pty) Ltd is fully committed towards being a responsible travel agency that genuinely cares about how the travel business impacts the people and places it touches. As a result, we aim to translate general principles into effective actions on the ground, share best practices relating to social responsibility. We also try to instill our ethical and environmental principles throughout all areas of our activity. Throughout our itineraries, we are continuously developing responsible practices; we support a variety of projects that are making a real difference in the local communities.
We place a huge emphasis on cultural exchange as a way to truly experience and better understand the country you visit. Travel is full of opportunities to learn more about local cultures and traditions. We often ask our guests not to take any pictures in certain places, in order to keep privacy and intimacy. It is important to keep an open mind to respect local customs, practices and beliefs, to ensure an enriching travel experience.
We are committed to working with suppliers who believe in fair trade.
During our tours, we try to tread as lightly as possible by turning off all idling engines and selecting eco-friendly modes of transport, whenever possible. On adventure trips through remote areas, we do our best to use biodegradable cleaning products and ensure that we have left no litter behind us. In addition, we work alongside a selection of eco-friendly properties. Please let us know when you prefer eco-friendly accommodation for your tailor-made itinerary.
Sustainable development also means no use of paper at all.
- Productivity gain
- Consultation at any time
- Storage and archiving
- Protecting the planet
Your travel documents, invoices and itineraries will be produced electronically. You can then record them on your own terminal (tablet, smartphone) and consult them during the trip.