We have always taken pride in our level of concern and commitment to the natural surroundings and the local people we encounter on our travels.
By training both our tour leaders and travellers on the philosophy of 'leave no trace', constantly reviewing operational processes, and working with locals to give something back to the communities we come into contact with; we endeavour to operate tours that create a positive impact on the lands we visit and a lasting impression for those who travel with us. As a company we support responsible charities and organisations wherever we can.
Grand Canyon Volunteering
As part of our commitment to the environment, we have partnered with the US Parks Service to protect, preserve and help maintain the national parks of the USA. In September 2009 we sponsored ten employee volunteers to assist Grand Canyon National Park rangers with clearing intrusive vegetation along the scenic roads to help improve the visitor experience and allow for better wildlife viewing opportunities.
Tourism Cares For Tomorrow
We are a founding member and partner of Tourism Cares, a non-profit organisation with a mission to preserve the travel experience for future generations to enjoy. We have supported a post Hurricane Katrina clean up of New Orleans and the revitalization of Louis Armstrong Park, and the restoration of historic sites in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. In June 2010, we helped clear and restore recreational areas and trails through Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. For additional information or to make a donation, please visit www.tourismcares.org
Thames Clean Up Challenge
In August 2010 some of our UK Sales team volunteered with an environmental charity to clean-up the banks of the River Thames to benefit the local environment where they live and work in London.
American Hiking Society
Additionally, Grand American Adventures is a proud supporter of the American Hiking Society. Established in 1976, the society is the only national voice for hikers - dedicated to promoting and protecting America's hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas and the hiking experience. The society represents millions of hikers who are committed to preserving beautiful hiking trails and the surrounding environment as an important legacy for future generations. For additional information, or to make a donation, please visit www.americanhiking.org
Tour Leader Training
Our Operations Department have produced guidelines on Responsible Travel that are incorporated into all training materials and reviewed on a regular basis. Issues addressed include water conservation, waste disposal, minimizing campfire impact and respect for the local peoples.
> Read our Guidelines
Working With Locals
The vast majority of our itineraries are led by local guides using local suppliers for transportation, accommodation and activities. Food is usually purchased and prepared locally, without the waste and energy needed for restaurant meals. We also contribute to local charities and projects as founding members of Tourism Cares for Tomorrow.
We have produced a Grand American Adventures Travellers' Code of Conduct to help prepare and inform our travellers of the various positive or negative effects they could have on a destination. Tips on everything from how to handle wildlife encounters, to how you can help school children in Mexico are included.
> Read our Code of Conduct
We are in the process of evaluating fuel consumption and the amount of carbon emissions our vehicles emit into the environment. Our aim is to offset these emissions with tree-planting projects - with an added positive effect on the local economy. In the meantime, we have teamed up with Climate Care so you can offset your flight emissions by logging on to www.climatecare.org
Looking To The Future
The development of a responsible tourism policy is an ongoing process. There is always room for improvement, and we look forward to tackling issues such as office based conservation, recycling on the road and the reduction of printed materials. The future of rewarding travel and tourism depends on the protection and preservation of the destinations visited. We have come a long way over the years, but there is still a long way to go. As they say, a journey of 1000 miles begins with just one step, and we endeavour to address any obstacles or opportunities along the way.