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Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable tourism development positively contributes to a destination’s environment, economy and culture whilst benefiting everyone involved including local communities, businesses and the traveller. Tourism is the world’s largest industry and employer, a sector that is predicted to grow both in volume and impact. Tourism, if managed correctly, has the potential to benefit communities and provide sustainable income. The 2012 UN Earth Summit and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) identified tourism as a key sector in the transition to achieving sustainable development and a greener economy: channelling investments for energy and water efficiency, climate-change mitigation, waste reduction, the conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage, plus, the strengthening of links with local cultures.

Go Barefoot uses the business principles of tourism as a tool to achieve positive social and environmental change within destinations and their communities. Go Barefoot actively selects and partners tourism enterprises and accommodation providers that actively reduce their environmental impact and/or offer a more genuine insight into the destination’s culture and history. Go Barefoot supports existing sustainable tourism initiatives and is involved in the development of new projects with local entrepreneurs, plus, public and private organisations. At each destination Go Barefoot supports linked environmental and social initiatives, which we incorporate into itineraries where possible.

To ensure sustainable operations within our company Go Barefoot is committed to:

  • Actively selecting partners, including accommodation providers and travel enterprises, with social and environmental values/credentials/certification, which seek to have a positive impact through tourism;
  • Support socially and environmentally focused projects in destinations that are identified with local partners;
  • Collaborate with non-governmental organisations, social enterprises, co-operatives, universities, plus, the private and public sector partners;
  • Provide guidance to in-country partners on how to adopt more sustainable operation practices to minimise any cultural and/or environmental impact;
  • Provide clients and industry partners with a better understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues;
  • Promote the awareness and adoption of sustainable practices across the industry and supply chain;
  • Ensure community based tourism projects are self-directed in all project stages including participation, planning and management;
  • Ensure selected local partners and guides respect social structures and cultural traditions whilst ensuring communities are able to adapt to visitors;
  • Select tourism projects that generate long-term economic wellbeing for local communities, plus, tackle social exclusion and local unemployment whilst positively contributing to natural and cultural heritage;
  • Boycott any company or destination involved in financial, human or political exploitation;
  • Require partners to sign a Code of Practice to adhere to ecological and ethical operations;
  • Provide tips and advice to clients prior to departure on how to adopt more sustainable travel behaviour;
  • Offer enjoyable, flexible and safe activities;
  • Reduce its own office carbon footprint through the minimisation of office paper and energy use, implementing a waste recycling scheme, purchasing of ecological supplies and encouraging the use of public transport.