Sustainable Tourism with Adventure Tours UK
Who Are We?
Adventure Tours UK was set up by a team of outdoor enthusiasts who wanted to share our home nation with others. We’re passionate about adventure and so want to make booking an adventure holiday a stress-free experience for others like us who love to travel and explore new places. For those who want to get out and experience something different, we strive to give people an authentic taste of the UK. We create world-class holidays and make them easy to book, wherever in the world you are.
It’s safe to assume everyone has heard of the UK, yet not everyone has heard of Wales. Home to Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales, along with deep forests, raging rivers, an incredible coastline and beautiful islands teeming with wildlife, to date our adventures have been focussed in North Wales. It’s where we live, so we have a deep passion for this naturally beautiful place and are proud to share it with our guests. Whether it’s mountain biking, trail running or simply walking the dog, we get out into the hills every day to feel the sun on our skin and the wind in our hair. Sometimes (often) it is rain rather than sunshine, but either way we don’t care because we’re outside in this incredible playground we call home.
Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency
Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency is a group of organisations and companies working together to plan a better future for tourism. Together we are committed to aligning our plans with the need to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030. Because Adventure Tours UK was born from a time where knowledge of climate change and environmental impacts were well documented, we created an adventure travel company that has set out to be truly responsible from the very beginning. On top of this, the co-founders have always been people who care deeply for our natural world, so we strive to deliver tourism responsibly and sustainably.
We are proud to be part of the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency movement and have publicly committed to our Climate Emergency Plan to significantly reduce our environmental impact even further. We’re sharing our challenges, ideas and solutions as we look to develop tourism that’s in balance with our climate, restores biodiversity and supports vulnerable people across the world. Our plan focuses on further cutting carbon emissions, working collaboratively with partners and suppliers to share best practices, and advocate change across the industry.
Carbon Footprint Labels and Tree Planting
In 2020 we partnered with ecocollective to help us measure and improve our carbon footprint. Instead of us just saying “we’re a green company who cares about the environment”, we wanted to go further than that by specifically showing you the amount of CO2 emitted on all of our tours. Actions speak louder than words, so we don’t just talk the talk – at Adventure Tours UK we walk the walk!
To measure our emissions we follow the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. We work closely with our partners to gather accurate data on their own operations to include in our calculations. Wherever there is no data available, we apply emission factors provided by DEFRA. Ecollective assess everything from water usage and food sources, to energy and fuel consumption to provide an accurate account of the carbon footprint of each trip we run. We share this on all of our tour pages so that customers have an accurate understanding of the carbon footprint their holiday has.
Our outdoor, local and often human-powered adventures are always going to have a low carbon footprint, but we believe that we can still do better. We feel it is our duty as a responsible travel provider to ensure the carbon footprint from guests travelling with us is offset. Whilst we don’t believe carbon offsetting is a solution, mitigating the carbon emissions we haven’t yet managed to remove is a step in the right direction. So for every adventure made with us, we plant a tree in partnership with the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley AONB. By supporting this woodland initiative and planting native trees in our local area of North East Wales, we can help to combat climate change, support biodiversity and create positive benefits for our local community.
We are a big advocate for sustainable travel. Most travel companies are not as sustainable as they would like to think. The inconvenient truth is that flying creates a lot of carbon emissions, natural sights are struggling from over tourism and people are not actually feeling refreshed when they come home. We believe in change. It’s something we’re proud of and take every opportunity to shout about what we are doing to improve our sustainability. We use our social media platforms to highlight the steps we take to make our trips as sustainable as they can be.
At Adventure Tours UK, we believe in adventures having a minimal impact on the world around us. Single-use plastic is a huge problem for our planet and we all need to take responsibility. When you travel with us, at the start of your trip we’ll offer you your own aluminium water bottle. Refill this each day at your hotel and do away with the need for buying plastic bottles of water each day. You’ll be doing your bit for the environment and it will save you money too, so everyone wins! The guests packed lunches avoid single-use plastic wraps, instead favouring more sustainable methods such as paper bags and wax paper wraps. Our catering partners are also carefully chosen to share our values and avoid single-use plastic as far as possible with the ingredients they buy and to avoid it entirely when storing their food, instead choosing reusable glass and tupperware containers.
One of our primary concerns with tourism in Wales is to ensure it only has a positive impact on the local rural communities and culture, whilst ensuring that guests enjoy a truly authentic experience. Our trips rely upon a number of local businesses to help us deliver that perfect, authentic experience. We only ever work with independent local organisations who are based in the region you’re exploring and who employ local people. This way we know that every penny you spend is directly impacting the local region in a positive way.
To manage this we only run small group tours, which avoids large crowds of people descending on small rural communities and putting local infrastructure and amenities under unnecessary pressure. Besides this, one of the best things about travelling in a small group is that you get to share your experiences with a few like-minded adventurous souls.
Adventure Tours UK – Certification
Adventure Tours UK are considering attaining B Corp certification in the near future. We want to be part of a community that is actively striving to do better for people and the planet, joining businesses who give as much consideration to their social and environmental impact as they do their financial returns. The support of B Corp would help us to measure, manage and improve our impact on the environment over time, which aligns with our brand values to be a sustainable and responsible travel provider.
Careers in the Adventure Tourism Industry in Wales
A potential gap in the adventure tourism industry, in terms of careers, is tour leaders. We feel there is a real need for good tour leaders, especially those able to lead multi-day tours. We see this as an up and coming career opportunity that would be a real value to the adventure tourism industry. From our experience, an adventure guide should have great local knowledge – you are the guests main source of information for the places they’re visiting. An adventure guide should also work well under pressure and assess the risks involved in any activity. They are responsible for a group of guests and should be able to overcome any issues along the way whilst maintaining the guests trust and confidence. We expect all tour guides to have their REC first aid qualification. It is also helpful for a tour guide to be Mountain Leader qualified when working in Wales. Finally, a tour guide should be fun and engaging – the guests are on their holiday to enjoy themselves!
Sustainability is the expectation in every employee’s job role here at Adventure Tours UK. Cutting down on single use plastic, opting for local partners, reducing carbon footprint; these green skills are business as usual for our team. If our employees collectively champion sustainable values in their work day, this furthers our progress operating as a sustainable tourism operator. We encourage our employees to be proactive: find better ways to operate sustainably and responsibly. If we could be doing something better, speak up! We are actively looking for ways to better ourselves and improve on our sustainable efforts. With sustainability, there is always room for improvement.
For a career in adventure tourism, you should have a passion for adventure! You must have an interest in the industry and want to share your passion with others, like we do. Guests travel with us because we know what they want from an adventure holiday – exactly the same as us.
Link to NTG
The ethos and aims of Adventure Tours UK and its partner organisations in Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency link to and reflect some of the key priorities of the Next Tourism Generation Alliance, which is creating a range of resources to help education and training providers and businesses develop among their students and employees the skills needed to ensure sustainability is at the heart of tourism development. Further information on NTG resources can be found at https://nexttourismgeneration.eu/