Exo Travel introduces responsible travel rating

In light of climate change, mass tourism and other factors impacting destinations around the world, Exo Travel has created a brand new and easy way for agents to choose and book responsible travel experiences and tours through a transparent rating system. You can now make an informed decision on your guests travels that will help leave the lightest footprints and the most positive impacts possible.

With its new responsible travel rating system, Exo Travel is providing an important and transparent way for agents to assess, view, filter and select tours and experiences from a responsible travel perspective.

When designing holidays for guests, agents can now assess the benefits of an experience or short tour based on the icons displayed on the list pages of tours and experiences. Those that were found to be responsible in one or more of these five categories have been given a special denotation to indicate which category they excel at.

The five categories are: Make a Difference, Carbon Friendly, Social Impact, Cultural Knowledge and Locals Benefit.

Carbon Friendly: Involves walking, trekking, cycling or alternative forms of transportation that avoid carbon emissions. In cases where the use of motorised vehicles is unavoidable, carbon emissions are automatically compensated through voluntary carbon-offset strategy.

Cultural Interaction: Places an emphasis on authenticity and the respectful exchange of cultural knowledge through direct interaction with local people, experts and families who, in turn, benefit directly from visits by guests.

Social Impacts: Through the purchase of local products or services, these experiences provide exceptional direct benefits to social businesses, vocational training centres and other institutions deemed beneficial to local communities and people.

Local Benefits: No less than 30 per cent of the cost of the tour is given back directly to local people for the improvement of their living conditions. A strong emphasis is placed on the transparent and fair distribution of tourism revenue which is ensured through the self-operation of all services.

Making a Difference: Includes direct financial donations benefiting non-profit organisations that aid disadvantaged members of society, promote local arts and culture or protect the local environment. These products also include workshops or activities promoting sustainable ways of living.

“By guiding guests into responsible choices, together we can improve the livelihoods of local people, protect their natural and cultural heritage and support local institutions committed to positive change – all while providing guests with unforgettable, feel-good experiences they will love and enjoy,” said Ruben Derksen, director of product and marketing at Exo Travel.