Responsible Tourism & Travel

In an era of mass-tourism when huge multi-national interests have so much influence, we believe it is more important than ever to support local cultures and small, independent businesses in a positive way with responsible travel choices.

Walking with The Wayfarers brings direct benefit to the people who welcome us so warmly to their region. As the ultimate ‘slow travelers’ we believe that meeting and spending time with those who care for their heritage is good for everyone. Our support nurtures local economies and we gain greater insight into local culture.

As a small, independent company, we naturally understand the ‘small is beautiful’ approach. We avoid hotel chains in favor of locally owned inns, eat in restaurants serving food grown by local farmers and use local transportation and amenities. At the end of a trip we come away with genuine understanding and appreciation of the people and places we visit.

The Wayfarers has long supported the principles of ecotourism as itemized by The International Ecotourism Society. These include building environmental and cultural awareness and respect and raising sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental and social climate.

We’re members of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) an alliance of more than 900 adventure tour operators. ATTA recognizes that adventure tourism is inextricably dependent on natural and cultural resources and protection and promotion of these is a vital part of responsible tourism.

We directly support a wide range of local, national and international charities and conservation initiatives. Nearly 20 of our Walks feature World Heritage sites and in the UK we visit more than 18 National Trust properties.

None of this is new. We have cared about the people and places we visit ever since our inception 30 years ago and we have remained true to our values.

At The Wayfarers we believe exploring a destination on foot brings the traveler closer to the culture and the land than any other way of experiencing a place. Since our very beginning in 1984, celebration of the history and cultures we visit and a understanding of the environmental issues of the lands we are priviledged to walk have been the essence of our Walks.

We follow these core guidelines of responsible travel:

  • Protecting the environment - its flora, fauna and landscapes
  • Respecting local cultures – traditions, religions and built heritage
  • Benefiting local communities – both economically and socially
  • Conserving natural resources – from office to destination
  • Minimizing pollution – through noise, waste disposal and congestion

Some examples of ways in which we fulfill these responsibilities are the following:

  • Low-impact visits (walking!) to environmentally important areas accompanied by informal education on the trail, and visits with key regional specialists
  • Visits to historic monuments and sites and financial contributions to the charities maintaining these sites
  • Demonstrations, where appropriate, of local music, cuisine, cottage industries, agriculture
  • Using locally managed or family-run hotels and restaurants where-ever possible and working with other community suppliers so proceeds benefit the area visited
  • Social visits with locals
  • Promoting responsible tourism by working with like-minded suppliers and publicizing aspects of responsible travel that apply to our destinations and trips

The Wayfarers is a member of the following organizations which promote the best practices in responsible travel and the highest standards of service to the traveler:

Trusted Adventures LogoTrusted Adventures

The Wayfarers is proud to be a member of the Trusted Adventures travel alliance. We are a group of distinguished industry pioneers dedicated to the highest standards in small group adventure travel. Learn more about Trusted Adventures on www.trustedadventures.com.

Adventure Travel Trade Association LogoAdventure Travel Trade Association

The Adventure Travel Trade Association aims to promote and grow the adventure travel market, while providing professional support, development, marketing, and cost-saving resources to The Wayfarers, please see www.adventuretravel.biz for more information.

Campaign to Protect Rural England LogoCampaign to Protect Rural England

Campaign for a sustainable future for the English countryside, a vital but undervalued environmental, economic and social asset to the nation. They highlight threats and promote positive solutions, more information can be found on www.cpre.org.uk.

The International Ecotourism SocietyTIES Logo

Uniting communities, conservation and sustainable travel. The Wayfarers wholeheartedly support the TIES principles of ecotourism and work with them as they apply them to the destinations we visit. For more information on TIES see www.ecotourism.org

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The Wayfarers unique walking vacations embrace the slower pace. They began in England in 1984, but have grown to span Europe, the US and New Zealand. Trust that they will always have a fresh itinerary, a new destination and an innovative way to experience the culture of country living - with walking tour vacations in Alsace, Burgundy, The Loire - River of Kings, Cézanne's Provence, Historical Dordogne and Le Pays Basque.