Last week Jacada Travel launched its Positive Impact Collection, a curated selection of properties, spanning Africa, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific, that exemplify excellence in sustainability within the travel industry.
It’s lovely to travel, to visit far-flung places around the world and take in the history and culture of a place. But our yearning to tick destinations off our travel ‘bucket lists’, has resulted in more than one of these places being destroyed by tourism. The negative impact of tourism can be felt in far too many popular destinations worldwide; thanks in no small part to all that carefully curated travel content on social media.
Most people these days do want to support sustainable tourism, but for many the concept remains a bit fuzzy. Sustainability is the buzzword, but there are many definitions of it. The World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”.
That’s a lot of words! In a nutshell sustainable travelling, eco-travelling or ethical tourism, aims to reduce the negative impact of tourism, while ensuring the long-term viability of a destination. It’s the kind of tourism that has more benefits than negative impacts. Truly sustainable and responsible tourism should make destinations better for people to live in as well as visit.
Still not quite sure what ethical tourism is? It simply means keeping in mind how your actions as a tourist will affect the places you visit.
London based Jacada Travel provides bespoke travel experiences, driven by positive impact. Founded in 2008 by Alex Malcolm, the company creates custom-designed trips for travellers to more than 70 countries across six continents. A subsidiary of Wilderness Safaris since 2020, Jacada Travel embraces “travel with purpose,” ensuring that travel benefits both the clients and the destinations they explore.
A myriad of Jacada journeys are available, from grand European adventures to multi-country safaris, epic expeditions, culinary journeys and family adventures. Founder Alex Malcolm says “We believe that exploration should not only enrich the lives of travellers but also leave a positive imprint on the destinations we touch.”
It’s one thing for a hotel to say they are ‘green’, but it’s another for it to be able to prove it’s true. Last week Jacada Travel launched its Positive Impact Collection, a curated selection of properties, spanning Africa, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific, that exemplify excellence in sustainability within the travel industry.
“Travellers increasingly expect travel brands to incorporate sustainability into their business practices, but due to increased demand, there is a lot of greenwashing and misleading marketing out there,” says Natalie Lyall-Grant, Jacada’s Positive Impact Coordinator. “We’ve put in the hours to meticulously audit partners and their sustainability practices, selecting only those truly committed… There are many options for luxury travel, but luxury operations that are making a positive impact on their destinations are the hallmarks of real quality.”
Key to curating the Positive Impact Collection was an in-depth survey of 56 questions, focussing on three pillars – community, climate, and conservation. The survey rigorously vetted and assessed each property’s true impact, requiring accommodation partners to provide details of their initiatives, policies, plans, and targets.
Each survey was scored according to their responses, and scores were totalled to an overall percentage. It took Jacada Travel six months to collect and collate submissions from more than 300 properties, and to verify and cross-check their claimed stated sustainability policies. Ultimately only 77 properties, those that scored more than 70%, were invited to join the collection – more than 65% of those that submitted applications didn’t make the cut.
The properties that did make the grade are examples of ‘best-in-class’ sustainability. Dedicated to promoting long-term positive change, by reducing carbon footprints, conserving natural resources, promoting community engagement, preserving local cultures, fostering strong connections with local communities and implementing a range of innovative climate-conscious practices – initiatives that align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Jacada Travel’s Positive Impact Collection is a great resource for travellers and one that enables them to choose luxury hotels, boats and camps that align with their values, contribute to the well-being of a destination, encourage responsible and respectful travel, and make a real difference. This is an example of how, when done right, tourism can be a force for positive change. Every trip you take can become a small step in the right direction.
I have stayed at 10 of the properties on the Positive Impact list, from tea estates in Sri Lanka, to a grand old hotel in Greece and safari lodges in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, South Africa and Rwanda – I’ve seen for myself the positive impact they are making!
Tell me more about Jacada Travel and the Positive Impact Collection