BOULDER, Colorado — Many tour operators tout themselves as eco-friendly. But how many actually are? Trusted Adventures travel alliance includes members who are committed to conserving the natural environment and the local cultures of the destinations they visit.
“The companies that comprise the Trusted Adventures Alliance have made responsible tourism practices a way of life in the operation of their business. While others may treat it as a fad or trend, our members see it as their social and environmental obligation,” states Dave Wiggins, Executive Director of Trusted Adventures LLC.
The seven member companies of Trusted Adventures promote responsible travel that brings economic support to local communities through tourism while preserving the community’s heritage and natural resources. And they prove this commitment with tangible grassroots efforts.
For example, READ Global was founded in 1991 by Dr. Antonia Neubauer, President of Myths and Mountains. The company contributes $50 on behalf of each traveler to this grassroots initiative. READ Global builds self-sustaining community centers with village libraries at the heart. Its pilot site, READ Nepal, was the winner of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2006 Access to Learning Award. Their first READ library in India will open by the end of 2007. www.readglobal.org
Western River Expeditions has initiated a $1 per guest, per day contribution to the Grand Canyon Fund (www.gcroa.org/Pages/gccfund.htm), which awards grants each year to researchers who are working to protect this national treasure. Western also participates in the Collaborative Alternative Motorboat Propulsion Research and Implementation Project, which is working to develop cleaner means of propelling motorized river boats. They have had limited success with electric motors and hope to achieve a hydrogen powered motor in the near future.
Other efforts include the founding of The Travelers Conservation Trust by Kurt Kutay, owner of Wildland Adventures. The trust is a non-profit organization that helps support local conservation initiatives through community development projects. www.travelersconservationtrust.org/
ROW Adventures, another Trusted Adventures company, is a supporting member of Idaho Rivers United, a group dedicated to protecting the state’s rivers. ROW founder Peter Grubb serves on the organization’s Board of Directors. www.idahorivers.org/
The Wayfarers is a supporting member of The Campaign to Protect Rural England dedicated to promoting the beauty, tranquility and diversity of rural England by encouraging the sustainable use of land and other natural resources in town and country. www.cpre.org.uk/home
In fact, Trusted Adventures companies actively support many local and global environmental conservation organizations every year including: Sustainable Travel International, The International Ecotourism Society, Center for Responsible Tourism, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, Rainforest Alliance, Galapagos Conservancy, Native Energy, and more.
When guests reserve a trip with an alliance member, they know they are choosing wisely — both for the adventures they will experience and the impact they can mitigate.
“Just because a trip is labeled as an “Eco” adventure doesn’t always mean they are earth-friendly,” Wiggins adds. “Adventure travel is not truly green unless the operators actively conserve and respect the natural environment.”
Trusted Adventures LLC was established in 2005 as an adventure travel consortium, now consisting of seven distinguished members (Austin-Lehman Adventures, Wildland Adventures, Euro-Bike & Walking Tours, Western River Expeditions, Myths and Mountains, The Wayfarers, and ROW Adventures). By creating an alliance of experienced, highly respected, conscientious, owner-involved companies, it is the goal of Trusted Adventures’ to offer a simple and reliable way for travelers to identify and book top quality adventure travel vacations. The alliance now offers 300 unique trips to over 80 destinations worldwide.
To learn more about the sustainable trips offered by Trusted Adventures visit www.trustedadventures.com or call