Last Frontiers is a small tour operator specialising in tailor-made holidays to Latin America, and most of our staff have lived and worked in the region. We recognise that we have a responsibility to ensure the long-term sustainability of our operations. Our aim in formalising a policy on responsible tourism is to continually improve the way in which we run our business to the benefit of all involved (the business, our clients, and our destinations).
In the UK
We undertake regular meetings when Responsible Tourism is discussed and we make sure that all staff are involved in the decision-making process and encouraged to contribute.
We have various office initiatives to reduce our impact on the environment and use of energy: we recycle all paper, wear thick jumpers in winter, use local suppliers whenever possible, encourage the use of public transport by staff, and strive for a paper-free office.
We no longer produce a brochure and instead have printed a hard back guide, intended to last many years and be referred to again and again to eliminate excess wastage. We always review the materials used and available technologies (e.g. recyclable vs. recycled) with our suppliers whenever we produce printed materials.
We work with other organisations to share our experience and learn from others. Current partners are LATA (the Latin American Travel Association) and the FCO (Foreign and Consular Office) through their Know before you Go campaign.
A copy of our policy will be made available to all of our clients should they wish to see it, and posted on our web site.
At the destination
- We have made all of our suppliers aware of this policy and will work with them to develop their own.
- On research trips we will monitor existing standards and encourage hotels and suppliers to strive to improve theirs. We will encourage the spread of good practice by sharing examples from other areas.
- We use local guides for all our clients on tailor-made trips, and for group tours will wherever possible use the services of local guides to supplement the services provided by our tour leader. We are committed to ensuring that our overseas suppliers provide a realistic wage and adequate working conditions to their staff.
- We use locally owned and run accommodation whenever possible, preferring small hotels to large.
- We will point out to our clients where particularly fragile environments or endangered cultures exist and advise them on how to minimise the impact their presence or actions may have.
- We give guidance and encourage our clients to arrange local tours when they are at the destination. We also suggest local restaurants and specialities to reduce importation of international foods.
- We encourage communication between our clients and local people, by informing them of local customs and providing some useful phrases in the native language.
- We encourage responsible tipping, and try to make sure that tips are distributed in a fair manner.
For our clients
In general, we are fortunate that Last Frontiers’ clients are already very aware of the need to travel responsibly, and we welcome suggestions for improvements to our own practices.
- We provide all clients with a suggested Code of Ethics to supplement advice on specific destinations.
- We take our responsibility to our clients very seriously and offer impartial and realistic advice on the safety of travel to their chosen destination. We point all clients at the relevant FCO Travel Advice. If issues arise (such as advice not to travel) we can provide additional feedback from our local agents, and point out the risks involved should they decide to travel against that advice.
Taking it further
We already work with several organisations in specific areas and will always look for more ways in which we can help protect the environment and cultures with which we are involved.