Importance of sustainable travel in 2023

Amy Hopkins

written by
Amy Hopkins

updated 24.05.2023

Since Rough Guides was founded 1982, we've made it our mission to highlight lesser known places and bring our readers in-depth insights into the culture and history of the destinations we feature. We believe this approach encourages travellers to stay longer, immerse themselves in experiences that enhance local economies and enjoy cultural exchange with their hosts.

Travelling responsibly

Our dedicated network of writers work hard to bring travellers practical information to help you minimise any negative impact of your trip, while maximising the positive impact that comes from engaging with local communities.

These are the beliefs that Rough Guides was formed on, and now we’re going one step further. What started as an ethos is now a promise: We pledge to uphold and promote responsible travel.

Find ideas for how to travel more sustainably and, for your one-stop guide to travelling the UK by electric vehicle, don't miss The Rough Guide to Green Britain and Northern Ireland.

Rear view of young woman traveler with a backpack walking through the field to the ancient Buddhist stupas, Myanmar © soft_light/Shutterstock

Rough Guides pledges to empower women in travel © soft_light/Shutterstock© soft_light/Shutterstock

Empowering women

At Rough Guides, we’ve long recognised the fundamental, transformative contributions that women make to communities, culture and commerce around the world. These contributions are still all too often overlooked, which is why we’ve also pledged to support and promote women-led and women-empowering travel initiatives.

Our goal is to help amplify the voices, expertise, experiences and endeavours of women around the world. We will do what we can to support female-led community tourism operators and entrepreneurs, community leaders, female travellers and writers.

This includes unique highlight trips such as joining craftswomen in remote Brazil to show their exceptional clay arts or exploring the real life of women in Central Asia's Uzbekistan.

Furthermore, we use our online presence to promote female-led initiatives through blog articles like our article on the Nasio Trust in Kenya led by Nancy Hunt empowering rural communities or our article on female-led community projects in Dominica.

Our pledge

We promise to:

Raise awareness - We will bring you, our readers, as much information as possible on issues and practices relating to the empowerment of women and responsible travel

Raise the bar - We will improve our company practices to be a role model for our partners and readers

Raise money - We will support charitable projects that make a difference to local communities, especially to women’s lives

We will apply these principles to all areas of the Rough Guides business - our guidebooks, the articles on our website, the trips we organise for you through our Tailor Made Trips initiative and the way we work within our company.

Myanmar Asian traditional farmer planting, harvesting in field © szefei/Shutterstock

Rough Guides supports travel that benefits local communities © szefei/Shutterstock

    Rough Guides guidebooks

  • From 2022 onwards, all new editions of our B-format guidebooks will feature a chapter on sustainable travel
  • We will continue to partner with brands for bespoke guidebooks to highlight sustainable and responsible travel practices
  • All new books have switched entirely to using FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accredited paper

Tailor Made Trips

Our Tailor Made Trips connect travellers with local tour operators, who plan a bespoke trip for you, just the way you want it

  • We encourage our local tour operators to create and publish highlight trips that include female-led initiatives and responsible community empowerment activities. These highlight trips can be booked straight away or modified to your taste.
  • We help our local tour operators develop more sustainable practices to include in their trips
  • We actively promote trips that counter over-tourism and have a responsible impact on lesser-known or -developed regions

Rough Guides website

On our website, we feature both destination guides as well as topical articles in our blog.

  • We will continue our reader surveys and polls to hear your voices about sustainable travel.
  • With many female writers on our team, we bring a female perspective on travel to our articles and aim to shine a light on the experience and knowledge of female travellers.
Hmong ethnic minority women in Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai, Vietnam © Chachamp/Shutterstock

Working towards a future of more responsible travel © Chachamp/Shutterstock

The future

The Rough Guides Responsible Travel Policy is a constant work in progress. We’ll do our best to uphold and promote responsible travel and to support woman-led initiatives, and we’ll review our work regularly to find out what needs to change. We are proud to make these long-term pledges and we look forward to fulfilling them to create a better future for travel, for all of us.

Find out more about travelling more responsibly in the post-Covid world and how to think about travel in a more mindful way.

Top image: Hmong women in Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai, Vietnam © Chachamp/Shutterstock

Amy Hopkins

written by
Amy Hopkins

updated 24.05.2023

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