Responsible travel

What is responsible travel?

For Kuoni, it’s about caring for the world we live in and respecting the people, places and animals we may encounter during our travels. All of the hotels we offer have signed up to our Responsible Promise; and many go the extra eco-mile, including some of the best hotels in the world.

12 responsible travel tips

Here are a few easy, simple tips to help become a responsible traveller.

  1. Book the most direct route possible. Most flight carbon emissions are emitted during take-off and landing.
  2. Choose an eco-friendly hotel, one of our homestays in South India or an escorted tour using local guides.
  3. Take a reusable cotton bag with you, which you can take to local markets. This will help tackle plastic waste – and you can use it for the beach, too. We also recommend taking a reusable water bottle to reduce plastic waste.
  4. Dress appropriately in places of worship and remove your sunglasses when talking to people, as this is often considered bad karma around the world.
  5. Learn about local customs, traditions and a few words of the local language before you travel.
  6. Always ask before taking portrait photos of others and avoid having your photo taken with any animals used as photo props, as this encourages captivity.
  7. Remove and recycle excess packaging before you pack your suitcase to avoid simply throwing it in the bin while on holiday.
  8. Support eco-friendly initiatives during your stay, such as reusing towels and turning off the air-conditioning and lights when you’re not in the room.
  9. Make sure you’re buying locally-made souvenirs rather than mass-produced items that have been imported. Avoid items made from endangered animals or ivory and never take away ‘natural’ souvenirs you find, such as shells from the beach.
  10. Eat in local restaurants and choose locally-branded drinks rather than imported big named brands.
  11. It often feels tough, but try to avoid giving money to beggars. If a beggar earns more than someone who works for a living, this can boost the practice and cause economic problems. We would also discourage giving money to children, as this may encourage parents to stop sending their children to school.
  12. You can offset your flight emissions at myclimate.

There are a thousand things you can do to be a responsible traveller
Simon Reeve

Find out more

Responsible travel: our promise

We work with our hotel and ground agent suppliers closely, encouraging them to sign up to the Kuoni Code of Conduct. We trust in these hotels and agencies to do their utmost to respect and achieve the standards we set out. We have a responsibility towards society to be a good corporate citizen, from a sustainable supply chain to ethical human rights.

Some of the points we highlight in our Kuoni Code of Conduct are:

  • Comply with all applicable international and local laws and regulations.
  • Minimise the negative impact on the environment.
  • Comply with animal welfare standards outlined in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and in ABTA’s Animal Welfare Minimum Requirement.
  • Do not discriminate against employees.
  • There should be no form of forced labour or violation of human rights.
  • Wages must meet or exceed legal minimum and/or industry standards, with no illegal or unauthorised deductions from wages.
  • Working hours of employees must be in line with the legal requirements and/or industry requirements.
  • Do not allow or tolerate any child prostitution at premises and facilities.
  • Actively purchase locally-produced goods in preference to imported ones wherever reasonably possible.

If you would like full details of our Code of Conduct, please contact our press team.

We strive to ensure that travel has the most positive effect possible and we support Travelife, an industry-leading scheme that monitors the social and environmental standards of hotels worldwide and awards each hotel a Bronze, Silver or Gold label, which you will see on many of our hotel pages.

Awarded to hotels that pay all of its employees at least the national minimum wage. Hotels should also take preventative action to protect children and adolescents from sexual exploitation by tourists; and save water and energy, as well as reducing waste.

See Travelife Bronze hotels

As well as meeting the Bronze standards, hotels have a dedicated employee to implement social and enviromental strategies. Hotels purchase most of their goods from local producers and actively benefit the local community.

See Travelife Silver hotels

In addition to meeting the Bronze and Silver criteria, a hotel should produce regular reports of its positive and negative impacts on local people and the environment, demonstrating that its sustainability performance is of the highest importance.

See Travelife Gold hotels

There are many sustainability accreditation schemes available, so although a hotel may not have a Travelife logo, it may have met and gained another green accreditation.