Sustainability & Conservation in Travel
Sustainability in tourism has always been important but now, more than ever, it’s on the forefront of people’s minds. The way we travel, and the way we choose to spend our time across the world, can all be more sustainable. While we understand that some things cannot be avoided (such as taking long-haul flights), there are efforts we can make individually, which all contribute to the same goal.
Carbon offsetting, sustainable safaris, supporting community outreach projects, and Packing for Purpose are all examples of how we can travel more sustainably and purposefully. These initiatives are all very easy to be involved in – just ask your travel expert and they can make the arrangements for you. There may also be specific sustainable or conservation-focused projects to get involved with depending on the country you are visiting. We understand how important sustainable travel is and are always striving to make a difference, so for any further information, please do get in touch with our team.
Croatia’s most eco-friendly cruise line
In the summer months, our sister brand, Unforgettable Croatia, sail small ship cruises along the Dalmatian Coast on a daily basis. As one of the largest small ship cruise companies in Croatia, we must set an example, thus have made a conscious effort to make all of our cruises as environmentally-friendly as possible. On board our private vessels, we have stopped offering plastic water bottles, straws and other items to our clients, implementing a no single-use plastic policy. Instead, we give our clients a luxury aluminium water bottle for them to keep, filling it up whenever they like using our filtered water machines on board.
We also implement a buy-local program where we source all of the food and wine on our vessels from local producers on each of the islands we visit. We are advocates of supporting small and family-run businesses, so a lot of the wine sourced will come from local vineyards that we have personally visited.
We also support local ship building in Croatia by part-funding the ship building costs. This in turn supports the local community by creating a number of job opportunities.
Supporting Blue World Institute: Dolphin and Turtle Conservation
Located in Losinj, Croatia, Blue World Institute is a non-profit organisation who focus on marine biology and conservation research in Croatia. We work closely with Blue World, supporting their education programmes and volunteering projects each year. Our sister brand Unforgettable Croatia, have pledged to donate 10% of annual profits to support their projects and marine conservation.
Thus far, we have donated circa £15,000 to the Blue World Institute in support of Dolphin and Turtle Conservation projects. This included over £3,500 to allow them to build a new user-friendly website, which is essential in today’s world. We will continue to help support BWI, working together to keep the oceans clean and the marine life flourishing as much as possible in the Mediterranean Basin.
With so many flights taken across the world, we understand that travel is a major contributor to global carbon emissions. We ourselves, are conscience about the amount of staff travel we do, and although there are limited ways to cut down international flights, we are advocates of offsetting our flights to help minimise our carbon footprint.
With this in mind, we are proud to work with ClimateCare to pull our weight in minimising carbon footprints. For almost 20 years, ClimateCare have been the leading brand in neutralising CO2. Their results include cutting over 43 million tonnes of CO2, which is a huge amount of their target set for 2025. This target (for 4 years’ time) includes cutting 50 million tones of CO2, and improving 50 million lives.
Your carbon offsetting helps. Whether you are flying to Europe, Asia or Africa, your contribution to offsetting your international flights will help add to these impressive figures for ClimateCare. For those interested, please let your travel specialist from Unforgettable know, and your payment will be made direct to ClimateCare. Together, we can do what’s right.
Variety is a children’s charity based in the US, with franchises in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. With emphasis on children aged 5 to 24, Variety’s aim is to improve and enrich children’s lives by providing fun and innovative summer and school programmes. These children, who all in their own way have intellectual disabilities, get the chance to learn new skill and engage socially with other children in a safe environment.
We are inspired by the work that Variety does and have donated to their wonderful projects over the past few years. This year, Unforgettable Travel Company are donating a luxury trip for two worth $10,000. This trip will be a choice of four destinations across the world, and will be a prize in the Variety Charity raffle which will be part of a larger fundraising event later this year. Although it has now been pushed back a couple of years because of Covid-19, last year we donated a free cruise as a prize raffle for Variety which was worth $6,000.
Africa is a fragile ecosystem and our Africa team here at Unforgettable Travel are are extremely focused on protecting it as best they can. Our team work with camps and lodges which are environmentally-friendly. In fact, most of the camps across East and Southern Africa are ahead of the game when it comes to sustainability efforts in the global hospitality market.
The majority of camps in East Africa are run entirely by solar power, are plastic-free, and supply their own water from local bore holes. That said, we encourage clients to stay in camps that go the extra mile. These camps, such as Nomad properties, may run composting projects that teach better agricultural practices, beekeeping projects or even run village clean-up days to engage communities and keep the wilderness clean and free of plastic and litter.
Image credit: Nomad Africa
Community outreach programmes
Further to sustainability efforts, our Africa team are also very focussed on conservation and community outreach programmes. In Africa, the lodges are not just about offering guests a safari experience, it is also about providing employment for the local communities. Lodges tend to hire all their staff from the local area and contribute to the costs of local schools and medical clinics. The lodges work hand in hand with the local villages so tourism benefits them.
Each month, our Africa team speak to hundreds of camps and lodges across the continent to learn about their latest community efforts and find out how we can get involved. We encourage our clients to visit local communities during their safaris, whether it is a Masai village tour or a local school visit.
Pack for Purpose
We work with Pack For Purpose which is an organisation making big impacts on local communities. The initiative supports over 525 education projects across the world in areas other than Africa – including Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Central and South America and South Asia. Wherever you are visiting, the Pack For Purpose initiative offers a range of local orphanages, charities, communities or schools who are in need of particular resources.
This may be school or office equipment such as pens, pencils, calculators or books. It may be generic medical equipment such as ice packs, toothbrushes, bandages or thermometers. They may be in need of linens including bedding, pillows and towels. The list goes on. This initiative allows you to pack purposefully, donating exactly what the orphanage or school needs.
Supporting anti-poaching and wildlife units
Further to our sustainability and community projects, our Africa team are also fully aware of the need to support anti-poaching and wildlife units to protect Africa’s vulnerable ecosystem. Camps and lodges invested in protecting the wildlife of the reserve, working together the lodges will fund anti poaching teams to protect the vulnerable wildlife. This provides local employment and helps to conserve the wildlife for future generations.
If you are interested in the efforts and projects for anti-poaching, we recommend that, during your safari, you visit one of the units. In East Africa for example, you can visit wildlife sanctuaries such as the Ol Pejeta Sanctuary to see the two remaining northern white rhinos. Donations are always appreciated but the visit alone is a good step in the right direction to educate and spread the word. In other areas across Kenya, you can visit canine units to find out how rangers use dogs in methods of anti-poaching.
Unforgettable Trips with Conservation Focus
Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, Split10 NightsFrom $3,007 PPThis enchanting 10-nights land and cruise tour explores Zagreb and Plitvice Lakes National Park before sailing from Split to Dubrovnik.
Laikipia Plateau, Masai Mara and Diani Beach12 NightsFrom $7,532 PPThis itinerary is a combination of flying and driving, offering safari highlights in Kenya suited for families in particular.
San Jose, Escazu, Tortuguero National Park, Arenal National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest, Manuel Antonio National Park13 NightsFrom $3,242 PPDiscover Costa Rica’s highlights on this two-week tour, from incredible wildlife watching to stunning scenery, with overnights in premium accommodation.
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