Responsible and sustainable travel

The British Guild of Travel Writers has been supporting sustainable travel since long before it was ‘cool’ – our International Tourism Awards (initially launched as the Silver Otter Awards) are over 40 years old.

But we also know that sustainable travel is more important than ever. The Guild is well aware that, through travel, everyone can gain a greater understanding, appreciation, and respect for other countries and the diverse cultures and ecosystems found around the globe. Understanding and respect should not be an entirely one-way occurrence.

When we travel, we are ambassadors for our own country and our Guild. We strive to be aware of the impact we may have when we travel.

However, few with a love of journeying far and wide can claim to always travel in the most sustainable manner at all times. Flying, for example, is well-known not to be the most eco-friendly mode of transport but it is very often the most convenient, the cheapest and sometimes the only viable option available.

Responsible tourism can be a powerful tool used to promote the appreciation and conservation of both cultures and ecosystems and we believe flying is a necessary evil to further this aim. That being said, I wholeheartedly support airlines and airports striving to reduce their carbon footprint..

BGTW sustainable travel policy

As expanded and developed from the travel blog of BGTW member Kathryn Burrington, TravelWithKat.com:

In the name of sustainable and responsible travel, the British Guild of Travel Writers and its members will always strive to:

  • Respect and promote the respect of local indigenous people, their customs, traditions and beliefs
  • Contribute to the local economy by supporting local businesses
  • Learn about local customs, cultures and cuisines
  • Respect the environment and promote environmental conservation
  • Promote animal welfare and the ethos that wild animals should remain wild (and not be habituated to humans)
  • Never support or promote any organisation or activity that potentially damages the environment or negatively impacts on human or animal rights
  • Actively promote human and animal rights, including (but not limited to) children’s rights to an education, clean water, access to health care and a life free from abuse
  • Reduce our carbon footprint where viable, both while travelling and at home.