Seven of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly tourism companies in the world

Byway, Europe

Swiss Landwasser iStock

Do you want to travel around Europe without getting on a plane? The vision at Byway is to make flight-free travel mainstream by creating tailor-made travel and accommodation packages powered by trains, bikes, buses and ferries. Travelers create their own itineraries via the website and are sent customized itineraries with every aspect included, from baggage transportation to accommodation, with a focus on local and sustainable activities. There is a concierge service for special requests and the trip is supported all the way by a team who can be reached via WhatsApp. Byway has a European focus, with multiple flights sustained throughout Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden and the UK. byway. travel

Even Norway and Norway

Pulpit Rock, Norway.

Pulpit Rock, Scientific

This travel curator focuses on non-traditional tours that are designed to have a net positive impact on society and nature, with an emphasis on keeping cultural heritage alive. Drawing on local expertise, Up Norway will create bespoke digital itineraries or offer pre-designed small group tours that always have an interesting twist, such as the 10-day Tracing Norway’s Super Women, a 12-day adventure on the Arctic Circle Express Train or the Discovery Route – Norway Journey most sustainable. 72 percent of customers’ dollars go directly to local business partners and all guests’ CO2 is offset mostly through investment in forestry.

Bora Adventure, Latin America

Iguazu Falls on the border of Brazil and Argentina.

Iguazu Falls on the border of Brazil and iStock

This energetic holiday specialist, which runs bespoke trips to Spain, Portugal and Latin America, has an ambitious carbon mitigation programme, which offsets one carbon mile for every kilometer a customer travels from leaving home to returning again. One percent of the proceeds is donated to development projects such as Rural Community Funding in Nicaragua. Starting with a Patagonian vacation 23 years ago, the company with expert knowledge and local connections operates throughout Latin America, Europe, the Galapagos and Antarctica without the crowds, allowing guests to experience iconic destinations like Iguazu Falls, the Amazon rainforest, the Atacama Desert and the hiking trails of the Spanish Pyrenees in unique ways.

Much Better Adventures, UK

Domes of Mars in the Wadi Rum desert, Jordan.

Domes of Mars in the Wadi Rum desert, Jordan.

This outdoor adventure company was founded with the goal of protecting the world’s wild places. Shorter excursions are the company’s specialty and include off-the-beaten-track adventures like rafting and kayaking in Albania or sleeping under the “Martian” domes in Jordan. The company donates at least 80 percent of the cost of each trip to local economies and to families of guides whose livelihoods have been severely affected by the pandemic. In 2021, the brand became the first international travel company to add carbon footprint stickers to all of its travels, allowing customers to compare their personal impact when choosing their vacation.

Basil, Australia

Basil in Peru.

Basil in brave

No list of global leaders in sustainable travel would be complete without Intrepid, the world’s largest carbon-neutral travel company, which has been in business for more than 30 years, from humble beginnings now offering more than 1,000 small and immersive group tours in over 100 countries, working with organizations Local NGO to provide sustainable livelihoods to communities through the not-for-profit Intrepid Foundation. In 2020, Intrepid devised a plan to combat the climate change emergency, from setting science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions, offsetting carbon emissions for flights booked with it, converting to 100 percent renewable energy by 2025 in many of its offices, and so on. Her tours by 2030. Tours include special women’s missions to Peru, India, Morocco and Nepal.

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