If you’ve been following our journey at Terra Incognita, you’ll know how incredibly passionate we are about promoting ethical ecotourism – tourism that drives positive change for people and wildlife.
We’ve worked hard to discover and promote ethical ecotourism providers worldwide, who continue to amaze us. We’ve also connected with a global network of bloggers and writers who share a commitment to sustainable tourism and advocate for responsible travel.
Now we’re standing at on edge of one of the most important transitions the travel industry has ever seen. Besides the devastation that COVID-19 has wrecked on the industry globally, it has shown the world that this is our opportunity to rebuild travel better, and we need to do it now.
No more can we allow travel that contributes to climate change, puts unsustainable pressure on wildlife and habitats, distorts local economies or changes local customs and cultures. No more can we let unsustainable tourism and greenwashing (misleading information used to create an environmentally responsible public image) taint a sector that has such enormous potential to do good.
Our community-built Ethical Code of Conduct for Ecotourism is our commitment to making this change – and how we envision the future of travel.
As travel opens up post-pandemic, we want to help it drive positive outcomes for wildlife, people and the landscapes they share.
To empower a much bigger global community that travels for good, we’ve joined forces with Conservation Careers to launch Conservation Travel. Together we’re putting the spotlight on the ‘good guys’ – tours and operators who make conservation and sustainability a core mission of their business.
What is Conservation Travel?
Conservation Travel is for people who want their travel choices to have a net positive contribution to conservation. In other words, if these companies and tours didn’t exist, we would achieve less for conservation overall.
We’ve partnered with Conservation Careers to put the spotlight on tours and adventures that meet an Ethical Code of Conduct for Ecotourism, recognising their commitment to wildlife and local communities.
Conservation Careers is a Founding Partner of the Ethical Ecotourism Code of Conduct, which has been generated by a global community that includes over 80 ecotourism operators, industry experts, media representatives, local and Indigenous people and tourists.
The Code is made up of seven principles which seek win-win solutions for wildlife, local communities and the landscapes they share. They are:
We help wildlife
We work with local people
We strive for overall positive impacts
We share our knowledge
We work together
We respect boundaries
We keep improving
Explore Conservation Travel tours, and learn about the code
Meet Conservation Careers
Conservation Careers is the #1 careers advice centre for conservationists – helping 630,000 conservationists in 178 countries across the globe.
Their vision is a world where wildlife thrives, and they believe that all wildlife is beautiful and that it deserves great conservationists working to protect it.
You might recognise the people behind Conservation Careers, too! 🙂
In January 2021, we surveyed Conservation Careers’ audience about their travel plans. 70% said they want to go on a wildlife-focused holiday and 55% plan to do so in the next year. That’s over 300,000 potential guests a year who could make their next trip count for the planet.
Meet our Conservation Travel tours and operators
So far we’re working with seven inspiring partners, who support conservation initiatives like:
Directly protecting 200+ acres in private conservation reserve in Panama.
Supporting a 1 million acre forest reserve, with a sustainable use area and wilderness preserve in Guyana.
Protecting a forest reserve in Ghana, through reforestation, building schools for over 600 children and environmentally friendly farming.
Conserving populations of rare and endangered bird species in Bulgaria.
Protecting amphibian populations worldwide, plus educating millions of people about amphibians.
- Founding a not-for-profit association to help migratory birds, their habitats and local communities along the East Atlantic Flyway.
As one of our Conservation Travel Partners says so well, “Many people hear the word conservation and think that we must conserve, or, in other words, use and do less… The solution [is] not doing less, but rather doing more while using less. This is progressive conservation.”
Explore all conservation initiatives on our Conservation Travel page here.
So far we’ve listed 20 tours across Central & South America, Europe and Africa.
They include experiences like snorkelling pristine tropical islands reefs, marvelling at bird migrations, walking rainforest canopy suspension bridges, photographing frogs and searching for jaguars and caiman (yes, my wanderlust is awake now too!)
Here are just a few examples of our Conservation Travel tours:
Jungles and Seas of Belize
The Ultimate Jungle Adventure (Guyana)
Costa Rica Frogs & Wildlife Ecotour
Birding Two Continents (Spain and Morocco)
Birding Western Panama Eco Adventure
Birds of Prey in Bulgaria
Lynx Quest (Spain)
Mammals of Ghana
Explore for yourself, and get inspired about what’s possible through Conservation Travel!
Follow your ethical compass!
While we focus on staying safe, let’s not lose our sense of curiosity and adventure. Instead let’s channel that passion into making sure our next adventures count for people and planet.
Whether you’re a tourist, conservationist, tour provider, blogger or someone who’s directly or indirectly affected by tourism, we ALL have an important role to play in shaping the future of travel. After more than a year of COVID-19 restrictions, let’s make sure the future of travel aligns with our ethical compasses.
Find out more about our Conservation Travel tours and how you can make your next travel memories count for the planet.
How to join Conservation Travel?
If you’re a wildlife tour provider who shares our strong commitment to ethical ecotourism and you’d like to reach an audience of conservationists, we’d love to hear from you.