Sustainable and Responsible Travel, not just fashion words!
Travels with Audrey is committed to working towards UNESCO's sustainable tourism policy, working with local in country affiliates and partners to sustain local tourism which will help protect local economies from the negative impact of tourism, instead encouraging local development and growth, safeguarding local traditions and culture. The owners of the company have lived, studied, have family in Europe and understand and respect the local culture.
All tourism has the potential to offer both positive and negative impacts on local regions. Keeping our tours small, with less than 12 passengers per group (maximum 16), is part of our commitment to sustainable tourism and is entrenched in our travel philosophy. Small groups have minimal footprints on places visited as well as avoiding overcrowded locations. We believe it is important to take our guests to local villages, to regions that may not otherwise reap the benefits from tourism.
When developing our tour itineraries, it is our mission to offer a balance between visiting well known sites, as well as attractions and villages off the main tourist trail. This spreads the benefits of tourism to more remote communities which will overall benefit the region. In addition to getting away from the tourist areas we also choose to travel in comfortable vans that carry a maximum of 9 people including the driver, which in turn requires less gas. In the case of our groups of 12, we use deluxe mini-buses or vans and not large buses. This allows our guests to mingle with the locals, drive on country roads and into small villages along the way.
On several of our itineraries we also choose to travel by train and use the local ferry where applicable. Also in more well-known locations, like Venice for example, we offer opportunities that provide our guests the opportunity to truly experience the less beaten paths and to enjoy a place in a more unique way. This not only provides a more authentic experience of local life, it also ensures a more harmonious relationship with those local communities which in turn assist in the overall growth in tourism in a positive manner.
The tours are designed to support local businesses and artisans. Food products for your meals are purchased by chefs and owners from local markets, from the region’s farmers. Many of our guests’ opportunities to buying local products will be from family-owned establishments.
It is our standard that our guides are local, therefore knowledgeable about the location we travel in to offer our guests interesting insights into the local history, culture and customs. This both encourages greater understanding and knowledge, it also ensures the promotion of local culture and diversity. Our guides and tour managers do not partake in commission stops, all recommendations are genuine so we may assist our guests in buying locally and supporting regional communities.
As we continue to develop and plan our future touring itineraries, we will continue to offer and focus on regional touring mostly away from the crowds so that our guests can have meaningful, enjoyable and captivating touring experiences that offer positive effects on local communities. From our hotel accommodations to the places we enjoy culinary delights, we are committed to making a difference, and hope that our guests will help support our efforts to think local and sustain local tourism. By choosing a touring company rather than self-drive vacations, you are already helping reduce your carbon footprint by about 60%.