Taking flight: How one pioneering tour operator inspires action on sustainable air travel & tourism
Recognising the adverse environmental impacts of air travel, the Dutch tour operator and social enterprise Better Places decided to take action. Better Places helps their travellers to reduce emissions from travel by giving advice on most efficient flight choices and slow local transportation. Better Places has already taken action on all fronts to make their own offering more sustainable. Their responsible travel services have been officially certified by Travelife, an international management and certification program for travel organisations and accommodations that want sustainable business. All Better Places partners work according to Travelife ‘s criteria, including their local travel experts.
Furthermore, since 2016, the tour operator was the first to report on and compensate for all travel undertaken by not only its travellers but also its staff. Originally a Dutch platform, Better Places now operates internationally as Better Places Travel and in Germany as Fairaway. It provides detailed emission calculations per destination and compensates for both in-destination travel booked through their services as well as the emissions of the international flights booked independently. Better Places is the first tour operator in the Netherlands, and one of the few leading travel organisations in the world, that compensates for all of the emissions produced by its travellers.
“The bottom line is that you can only claim sustainability leadership by addressing your climate footprint in a comprehensive, substantiated manner,“ says Saskia Griep, founder of Better Places. “With World Tourism Day here, we hope to inspire other tour operators to compensate for travel-related emissions – not as opt-in but as part of being a responsible tour operator and contributing to sustainable tourism.”