Here at H&T we have a strong commitment to responsible travel. We are very aware of our responsibility within the travel industry to ensure that our tours are operated in a sustainable manner, and that they are beneficial to the communities and environments visited. One of our main concerns is to constantly look for ways to reduce the carbon footprint associated with the long haul flights to Argentina. We do this by minimising the negative environmental impact of factors within our control such as choice of accommodation and transport suppliers, and the training of guides to promote responsible practices.
Our suppliers and partners need to demonstrate that they work with the same philosophy, and we encourage them to adopt responsible policies in order to keep working with us. Additionally we continuously analyse all stages of our supply chains in order to introduce more local involvement i.e. local labour, products, food, and locally owned accommodation. Whenever quality levels allow it to be possible, we use small locally owned hotels and restaurants as part of our itineraries. Additionally, we design tours involving a certain amount of cultural interaction in order to foster an ethos of understanding, respect and friendship between nationalities. Money spent in the tourism industry is widely distributed throughout communities and we ensure that everyone get's their fair share.
H&T sponsor a local school in the Chaco region of northern Argentina, through APAER (Civil Association of Sponsors of Students and Rural Schools). Local schools receive little funding from official sources, sometimes less than a dollar a day to feed each child, so private individuals and institutions can step in and sponsor the dining service by sending money each month to a local food wholesaler, allowing the school to purchase lots of extra food. Every year we also send clothes, shoes, school manuals, second hand computers etc, but the greatest need they have is to be able to continue the operation of the dining room. The teacher Nora tells us that thanks to our help is that she can keep it running.
We recycle plastic bottles and work with hotels that have their own recycling measures in place. In the office, we encourage bicycling to work every day, and all other staff travel to the office either by bus or on foot. Paper and cardboard in the office is recycled in aid of a local children’s hospital, although we are also striving to become a 100% paperless office – we print no emails or brochures, and use scrap paper or the computer for taking notes.
For those looking to have a positive impact on the country they are visiting, please look at the Help Argentina website and donate something to help Argentina!