accommodation and a different area every few days spreads the economic benefits around a wider region than a single-centre holiday.

On top of these bare bones, escorted touring operators are increasing efforts to function in a more sustainable way, via a host of methods. By the end of 2020, Shearings Holidays’ entire fleet of coaches will be of Euro VI standard, leading the way in terms of fuel efficiency and low emissions. Regent Holidays is expanding its range of rail-based tours. Walking specialist HF Holidays has pledged £15,000 to plant 1,500 trees in the Yorkshire Dales – enough to absorb 250 tonnes of carbon over 50 years. And youth travel brand Contiki has partnered with fashion rental platform Hirestreet to encourage clients to rent items for their holiday wardrobe, after research showed that two-thirds of outfits purchased by young Brits for a trip were never worn again.

Escorted touring is arguably a more sustainable way of seeing the world than travelling independently

SPEARHEADING THE SECTOR Adventure tour operators tend to be ahead of the pack when it comes to sustainability. They make up the lion’s share of signatories to the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency pledge, which was made by 67 travel companies in January. All have set climate emergency plans to make their businesses more sustainable. Intrepid Travel has been carbon neutral since 2010, with 42 carbon- neutral offices worldwide and more than 2,000 carbon-offset trips. Now

it’s working to become ‘carbon positive’, investing – via its not-for- profit arm The Intrepid Foundation – in an innovative project to restore kelp forests in Tasmania. Community tourism projects are a common feature on its trips, from homestays in Nepal to meals made by local mums in Myanmar.

G Adventures has just launched the ‘Project 100’ initiative alongside non-profit partner Planeterra, with the aim of having 100 community tourism projects built into its tours by the end of the year. The newest include reef restoration in the Whitsundays, planting a ‘green corridor’ of trees in a heavily deforested area of Madagascar and community tours and homestays in Borneo. Explore began offsetting carbon on

all flights and ground operations at the start of this year, and has achieved zero waste to landfill at its UK head office. It partners with charities to

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