Best practice case: Connecting conscious travellers and tour operators

We are currently working in a tourism industry wherein sustainability is an upcoming trend and where more and more businesses join the movement towards a futureproof tourism industry. However, the group of travellers that consciously takes sustainability into account during their booking is rather small.

In order to grow sustainable tourism demand, we need to find ways to make sustainability easier and more accessible. One solution comes from Fair Voyage, a start-up booking platform. They are building an ethical and sustainable booking platform that exclusively promotes verified sustainable tour operators and supports travellers in making the right choices. This blog shares the story of Alex Pastollnigg, founder of Fair Voyage.

Connecting conscious travellers and tour operators

Sustainable purpose

Alex founded Fair Voyage with the mission to make sustainable travel easier for travellers and to connect conscious travellers to responsible travel experiences. ‘Basically, our mission is to make it easier for travellers to book with verified sustainable tour operators”.

Inspired by KPAP, an organisation that verifies ethical climbing on Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, she expanded her idea. Travellers are having a hard time determining which tours are ethical and sustainable, and which are not. It should not only be easy to find an ethical Kilimanjaro climb operator; it should be easy to find any sustainable tour wherever people want to travel to.

Blog: read more about the impact KPAP had on Kilimanjaro climb organisation Nature Discovery.

Verified suppliers

Fair Voyage ensures their partners are responsible tour operators. Their offer is amongst the most sustainable and they can claim this as they only use certified tour operators. Verified by third party certification schemes such as Travelife for Tour Operators. Alex: “In order to guarantee sustainability and make it scalable, we need third-party verification.”

Their mission is to build a sustainable solution for online booking platforms, to promote sustainable tour operators and to encourage travellers to book fair trips so they can make a positive impact. “We really only promote verified socially and environmentally responsible suppliers”. New partners are selected based on their certification and if not yet certified, they are expected to do so within a strict timeline.

“We believe that making sustainability easy is the only way we can realise the SDG’s and preserve our planet”.

Connecting conscious travellers and tour operators

Sustainable Development Goals

One of the objectives of Fair Voyage is to contribute to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. By expecting their partners to work alongside GSTC criteria and to promote the SDG’s, they are indirectly promoting the 17 goals throughout the organisation. “We are creating a fair and sustainable booking platform in the tourism industry in line with the SDG’s.”

Blog: read more about how your business can contribute to the SDG’s as well.

Fair Voyage wants to build a sustainable solution for fair treatment in order to stop exploitation of human labour. They also focus on bringing responsible tourism to less developed regions to promote local development and global integration. They combine this mission with making it easier for travellers to make the right choice during their holiday. “We ensure they travel responsibly and have a great experience at the same time”.

“More companies are more likely to implement sustainability if they would see an increase in bookings. If they get more out of it”.

Creating awareness

The difference Fair Voyage wants to make is to ensure travelers book with those tour operators that set an example for the industry. “We have the power to stop human exploitation and ecosystem depletion in the tourism industry by making conscious travel decisions”. Sustainable tourism needs to be accessible for travellers and Fair Voyage is doing all they can to raise awareness and to make it easier.

They are basically working a two-way street as they are supporting travellers travel more sustainably, while providing their partners with more business. They focus on creating counterbalance by bringing global demand to sustainable companies. “More companies are more likely to implement sustainability if they would see an increase in bookings. If they get more out of it”. Alex said.

Connecting conscious travellers and tour operators

Creating impact

As tourism industry, we have the opportunity to stop human exploitation, to conserve nature and to make a holistic impact. Alex: “However, it’s difficult to nail down what’s happening at the destination, that’s why we only work with those that are verified and already creating positive impact”.

Possibly their biggest impact is their promotion for certification schemes that allows tour operators to work with Fair Voyage, combined with a growing group of responsible travellers. “We differentiate ourselves from other platforms by combining sustainability and customization. We want to offer all kinds of options, all verified, and support the traveller in making the choice that fits all their needs”.

Price wise

Fair Voyage ensures a fair price for all their offers by only accepting sustainable partners who handle fair prices, plus a low commission on the platform. “It’s by default that socially responsible companies are more expensive, because their costs are higher. They treat their staff fairly and contribute to environmental wellbeing. Target travellers are willing to pay for this”.

Alex: “I personally believe sustainability doesn’t have to be cheap. It doesn’t have to mean that every traveller can go and see everything they want to see. This way of thinking is exactly what’s causing the exploitation of resources and unsustainable tourism”. With Fair Voyage they are connecting sustainable travellers with sustainable business to protect our nature and people by doing something good in return.

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