Tour Operators' Climate Footprint and the Roles of Offsetting

Tour Operators' Climate Footprint and the Roles of Offsetting

Climate-Friendly Tour Operators

Climate Change and TourismWhat does it mean for a tour operator to be "carbon-neutral"? Can a company really be carbon-neutral, or even carbon-positive? Climate change is undoubtedly among the most important challenges facing our world today, and the tourism industry is a major contributor of carbon emissions. What can be done to address this challenge in a practical way?


Here are just a few examples of TIES members who incorporate carbon management policies, carbon offset options, and climate-friendly practices into their tour operations, as well as their outreach and education efforts.

Bluewater Adventures

Bluewater AdventuresIn April 2008, Bluewater Adventures took part in an intensive 3-day carbon workshop put on by the Pembina Institute, in partnership with Ecotrust Canada. The Pembina Institute is one of Canada's most prominent organizations working on climate change policy and sustainable energy solutions. After calculating the carbon footprint of the company's office and tour operations as part of Ecotrust Canada's Climate Smart program, Bluewater Adventures is now offering carbon neutral trips.


>> Read more: Eco-Auctions by Bluewater Adventures

Cabin Fever Adventures

Cabin Fever AdventuresCabin Fever Adventures purchases carbon offsets quarterly from the Canadian offset provider Less, based on the fuel consumption for company vehicles and air charters. Information on the cost involved in offsetting the emissions of each trip is available on trip details pages, listing the "Carbon Offset Fee" associated with each itinerary. The fee includes emissions directly related to transportation of guests, and transportation emissions created by employees during trip preparation. In addition, Cabin Fever Adventures encourages guests to offset their own flights by providing a discount for travelers who purchase carbon offset.


>> Read more: What is Cabin Fever Adventures Doing?


EcoventuraCarbon emissions from the company's four yachts, office operations and staff business travel are first reduced and then offset by a portfolio of projects through US-based company Native Energy Travel Offsets, investing corporate travel industry dollars directly to the development of new wind turbines on native lands and other renewable energy sources to help lower global carbon emissions. Rather than waiting for passengers to "opt-in" to an offset program, Ecoventura pays the full amount for offsets upfront to ensure the company is carbon neutral. Passengers are also encouraged to offset other portions of their trip.


>> Read more: Ecoventura's Galapagos Commitment

Spirit of Japan Travel

Spirit of Japan TravelSpirit of Japan Travel was designed to be a carbon-neutral company from day one. All the carbon emissions associated with accommodations, office energy use, and transportation provided for travelers and guides are calculated and offset by investing a portion of company profit into environmental non-profit organizations and renewable energy devices. Spirit of Japan Travel helps address local environmental challenges by incorporating conservation projects, such as community tree planting and sea turtle protection, into tour itineraries.


>> Read more: Spirit of Japan Travel Corporate Social Investments Projects

World Expeditions

World ExpeditionsWorld Expeditions has worked with the not-for-profit carbon neutral service Planetair to determine the carbon footprint of each holiday including internal flights, road transport, accommodation and food. Once the carbon emission levels are determined, the equivalent offset amount is included in the cost of the trip. In addition, World Expeditions offer air travel calculator on its website and encourages travelers to offset their air travel, either by paying the full amount (round trip) or half the amount (a one-way airfare).


>> Read more: Becoming a Carbon Neutral Company



About TIES

As the world's oldest and largest international ecotourism association, TIES seeks to be the global source of knowledge and advocacy uniting communities, conservation, sustainable travel..




> The International Ecotourism Society 



The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference will highlight global challenges and local opportunities, supporting sustainable development of tourism and promoting solutions that balance conservation, communities and sustainable travel.

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