Tribes Travel is a founding member of the Ethical Tour Operators Group (ETOG).  Responsible, sustainable travel is key to Tribes.  This ETOG group comes under the auspices of the UK’s Tourism Concern, a charity which campaigns for better tourism worldwide.

Yesterday we had a meeting and a variety of tourism issues were discussed.  The agenda this time included: slum tourism, all inclusive hotels, trekking porters’ rights, and standards in volunteering travel. As you can see the issues which this group take on are quite diverse.  The tourism industry really has so many different angles which need to be considered and changed for the better that it’s sometimes hard to know where to start.

Below are some of the questions which were posed and discussed yesterday.  What are your views on any of these?  Give us your comments and let’s widen the discussion.  The more views the better!

  1. Why do travellers visit slums / townships?  Do they know that unless a visit is undertaken sensitively and properly, such visits bring no benefit to the community?
  2. Are all-inclusive hotels bad for the community they are within, given that guests rarely leave the confines of the hotel?
  3. Gap year volunteering trips are very popular now. Many (not all – for example, see our recommended volunteering page) are badly run and planned and can cause real problems in the places they are trying to help. Would it not be better for gappers to simply travel, and not volunteer?

So if any of these questions have any connection with your travel choices, we look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Amanda Marks

Amanda Marks is the founder and managing director of award-winning tour operator, Tribes Travel. Having started travelling professionally in her mid-twenties as a tour leader in Africa and the Middle East, she set up Tribes with her husband Guy in 1998. She travels regularly both alone and with her family, and is committed to sustainable travel so we can protect the earth's diversity and beauty for future generations.