Treating children you meet on holiday as you would those at home.
Tour company G Adventures is promoting the ethical treatment of children encountered while travelling, with its new child welfare campaign called "If you wouldn't do it here, don't do it anywhere". Recommendations issued by the company include:
• Be considerate and don't take photos with children without their parent or guardian's permission. Don't geotag children as this can make them susceptible to trafficking and desensitise them to strangers.
• There are better ways to learn about local life than interrupting lessons with school classroom visits.
• Donate to organisations that help youth and their families rather than helping to cultivate a begging culture by giving money and gifts directly to children.
• Report it if you see a child in a situation that just doesn't seem right.
• Think about what you'd do in the same scenario at home. "Kids are kids, no matter where they live."
The campaign, which was launched on Unicef World Children's Day, November 20, asks travellers to sign a pledge to be more responsible when interacting with children during their journeys. Early last month G Adventures became the first global travel company to be officially ChildSafe Certified in recognition of its work undertaken to safeguard the wellbeing of children. All school classroom visits have been removed from its itineraries, and staff have all been given training.
The mountain gorilla has had its conservation status upgraded from "critically endangered" to "endangered" by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
The improved status has been assisted by the veterinary care of ill and injured gorillas by the Gorilla Doctors organisation, supported by experiences offered on Rwanda Gorilla itineraries offered by tour company Adventure World Travel. The company has used the status change to reiterate the importance of responsible wildlife tourism for "encouraging investment in infrastructure, communities and people who play an active role in ensuring wildlife populations around the world thrive".
Other Major Travel Brands Doing Good
Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten has announced at least six of its ships will be powered by dead fish by 2021. Well, actually liquified biogas, a mixture of LNG and fossil-free, renewable gas produced from said dead fish and other organic waste. The waste will be sourced from the fishery and forestry of the region. The move follows the company's innovative battery-powered cruise ship, the M.S Roald Amundsen, and a recent single-use plastic ban across its fleet.
Australian-based travel company Intrepid has introduced a Chief Purpose Officer to run its purpose-driven initiatives to foster responsible and sustainable travel. A main focus for Leigh Barnes is the company's "1-2-3" financial model where 1 per cent of its global revenue, 2 per cent of its employee time and 3 per cent of its founders' equity will be dedicated to purpose-based projects and initiatives such as designing sustainable tours and addressing issues such as plastics use, animal welfare and overtourism.
Take that Sydney
Melbourne is crowing in that way only Australian cities can about last month being named one of the world's most sustainable cities for business travel and events. The southern destination was awarded eighth place in the Global Destination Sustainability Index and took the top gong for the Asia-Pacific region.
Among the achievements of the local government and the Melbourne Convention Bureau are improved access to sustainable resources, the creation of a dedicated sustainability steering committee, improved access to sustainable resources and the education and support of key stakeholders when it comes to sustainable practices.
The Herdade da Comporta, a 12km stretch of coastline an hour south of Lisbon, Portugal, is reportedly a low-key holiday destination for the likes of Madonna and designers Philippe Starck and Christian Louboutin. The trio are among the fans of the area's pristine beauty which can be partly attributed to the strict planning laws ensuring its seven villages have undergone minimal development, all of it away from the beaches.