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Responsible Tourism

Our commitment to reducing the impact of tourism

When most people think of travelling in Europe, they imagine buses, trains and a string of cheap and cheerful easyJet flights. Our style of travel not only affords you more time to appreciate Europe, but positively contributes to the regions that host you.

When you engage in a human-powered trip, you are minimising your impact on the region and exercising your duty to travel responsibly. You are also committing to a slower travel pace that takes you out of the main cities and helps contribute to a more even distribution of wealth and resources.

We believe that cycling and walking trips are the best way to experience a destination, because you have more time to appreciate changing landscapes and get to know locals in villages and towns you pass through that would otherwise be overlooked.  

UTracks takes travellers to nearly 50 countries, many of which are among the most spiritually diverse and colourful cultures on earth. Others are rich in biodiversity but among the most fragile environments on earth. The travel choices we make while visiting these environments are instrumental in minimising the impact of tourism.   

Our Responsible Travel policies and concepts are leading the way in the industry in a variety of ways.

Mules transport our luggage on our family walks in Mont Blanc |  <i>Kate Baker</i> Yuxian wind project Traveller collecting litter along wilderness trails, part of our 10 Pieces litter collection program |  <i>Mark Tipple</i> Lunches on our Mont Blanc walks comprise alot of local delicacies |  <i>Tim Charody</i> Stunning lunch stops on the Amalfi Coast |  <i>John Millen</i>

Supporting local communities

In the regions that we travel through, tourism is the main source of income for many locals, so we aim to ensure that your money benefits the community that hosts you. We try to maximise the positive benefits of tourism and give you the most authentic travel experience possible by:

·         Training and employing local staff

·         Using local suppliers and assisting in the development of sustainable local business

·         Opting for family-run lodgings, barges and yachts over international chains

·         Providing opportunities for cultural exchange via our small group sizes, which foster greater interaction with local people, facilitating a greater appreciation of the history of each region and local people’s traditions, cultures and rituals

Minimising waste 

Our Waste Management Policy encourages our travellers to take their own reusable water bottles, coffee cups and reusable stuff sacks to avoid single-use plastics. In remote areas like the Pyrenees and Mont Blanc, our local partners limit the amount of packaging taken on each trip and ensure all waste is carried out from refuges that do not have road access so it can be disposed of properly.

Mule welfare

On our Mont Blanc trips, we wouldn’t get very far without the help of our four-legged alpine friends. We have a lot of respect for our mules, and ensure that they only work for 3-4 months per year. We have consulted with vets, farriers and other experts to ensure that we are looking after them correctly, for example by allowing them to graze in abundant pastures during trips and moving them away from the mountains in winter where the food and climate are more agreeable. All of our guides have been trained in proper mule handling.

Paddock to plate 

Where possible, we choose lodgings that source produce from their on-site farm or local farms. Not only does this provide you with fresher meals, it also lets you experience authentic food from each region and ensures your money directly assists local communities.

Offsetting air travel 

To simplify matters, we offer travellers the opportunity to offset carbon emissions produced from your flight at the time of booking. You will have the option to offset one or half a tonne of carbon, and your chosen amount will be added to your invoice.  

The carbon offsets we purchase on your behalf are sourced from the reputable carbon management company South Pole Group, and the credits we have in stock support wind power projects in Turkey, China and India.
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