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Green thing of the week – ethical tourism

There are a lot of ‘green’ products and services out there that we never report on because they’re a bit off the clean tech and business beat.

We get so many emails about ethical soap, treehugger pants and green holiday tours that if we printed them off, we could have quite a bonfire.

However – we’ve decided to stop being such grumpy sods and look a little kinder on these folk.

To be fair, some of these products are great – others, err, not so great, but they are varied in approach to say the least and pushing in the right direction. So we’ve decided to profile some of them. After all – this is all part of green business, innit.

To kick off, this week we’re looking at Sally Broom’s yoursafeplanet.co.uk, which allows “holiday makers to assemble their own one-off ethical holidays, utilising a trusted traveller’s grapevine”.

The line between the terms clean tech, green and ethical seems to be growing further apart. You might also ask what is ethical tourism, but just ride with this a minute would you..

This is what the company says about itself:

“Your Safe Planet saves the traveller both time and money by putting its users in contact via the internet with an extended family of cherry-picked local people who help to plan trips in advance via e-mail and lend as much help as is desired on arrival. They provide the traveller with a unique personal experience, allowing exploration of true local culture at true local prices whilst assisting the conservation of these exceptional cultural environments.”

Greenbang went to the website and was pleasantly surprised. It’s well laid out, easy to navigate, and it looks like people are using it. You as the wannabe traveller pay £45 for unlimited email contact with one of
the site’s expert local guides. They can tell you where to go and avoid, and ensure that local communities benefit in some way from your visit.

The guides have good travel and conservation credentials, so it’s worth checking out. We haven’t got anyone who’s off on a big trip soon (other than the pub tomorrow night), but the next time we do, we’ll be trying this.

We’re guessing it’s early days for Sally, but the business is promoting ethical tourism – as in helping communities not package holiday operators.

And – if you are going to travel, you want to know you’re not going to be riding elephants that were stolen and beaten, or buying souvenirs made by child labour.

This site is going in the right direction. The network could do with being bigger, but that’s just a time thing. We think it’s a good idea.

1 Comment

  • Elizabeth
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    YSP is a fascinating concept and looks like a great way to keep travel tourism local. I always like to travel with some tips from trusted local contacts and with this site it looks like it will make it a whole lot easier.

Comments are closed.

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