itravel is a tour operator for individual tours, working in an industry relying on natural resources. At itravel, sustainability is of particular importance, with the goal to profit from cultural and natural riches in the future. We bear all necessary responsibilities to make the customer’s holiday experiences as environmentally friendly, socially and ethically correct as possible. From our office in Cologne, we consult our entire product portfolio and trip performances through our partner agencies.
We rely on the preservation of the environment to execute our trips; we make an essential contribution to environmental protection at every point in the tourism value chain. Therefore, practicing these beliefs must also begin behind the scenes at our office in Cologne. Not only do we utilize clean power and mainly use recyclable paper, but our itravel insider program takes advantage of digital travel advice and saves even more paper. We also reduce our plastic consumption by choosing glass bottles drinks and having an office “SodaStream Jet” and coffee machine.
Our product portfolio includes eco-lodges and hotels, such as the Bambu Indah in Bali or the Chobe Game Lodge in Botswana. These are predominantly constructed from natural resources and blend in perfectly within the surrounding nature. Due to renewable energy, water conservation, waste separation systems, and a local and organic kitchen, these accommodations have a clear focus on sustainability.
itravel experiences also draw attention to environmental protection; for example, the rainforest expedition at the Tambopata Research Center. At this ecological expedition, visitors stay in pollutant-free accommodations and listen to the experienced tour guides’ lessons about rainforest deforestation.
In the trip operations, we ban all ocean cruises and avoid domestic flights whenever an alternative option is possible, like trains and rental cars. We plan to include compensation for CO² emissions from all our transport routes. For some CO²-related experiences, such as the Spitsbergen tour, the travel price consists of an eco-compensation.
Since itravel promotes cultural experiences and diversity as an essential part of any holiday, sustainability also requires the preservation of cultural wealth. Among our employees, we represent fifteen different cultural backgrounds, contributing to a cosmopolitan, unprejudiced and dynamic corporate culture.
Besides visiting historic temples and buildings, our portfolio includes experiences that allow cultural encounters with native tribes such as the WaMeru in Tanzania or the Himba in Namibia. Visits to indigenous tribes, local communities, and families help to maintain the traditional rituals of foreign cultures. Intercultural tour guides are usually locals that represent the destination.
Other experiences include cooking classes that define local cuisine or dancing classes for a unique sports activity. Our goal is to save cultural diversity and offer our customers the opportunity to interact with different cultures.
While animal encounters are vital for many travelers, it is our responsibility as a tour operator to take care of the animals’ welfare and preserve biodiversity. Therefore, all animal experiences that itravel offers must abide by appropriate living conditions and proper protection. For ethical reasons, our program does not provide activities such as elephant riding and dolphin swimming.
Our itravel team agrees that the most sustainable way to experience animals is in the wild. We highly recommend safaris or whale watching, where the animals live in their natural habitat.
We also recommend experiences that contribute to animal and species protection aiding against threatening situations toward different species. The Elephant Transit Home in Sri Lanka medically cares for orphaned elephants then reintroduces them to groups when they are healthy again. Experiences like this give our customers the opportunity to volunteer and contribute to animal welfare. We also donate parts of our revenue from selected trips to animal welfare projects, such as the "Anti Rhino Poaching Project" in the Eastern Cape in South Africa.