Across Europe – Responsible tourism policy
Across Europe is a tour operator with a focus on responsible travel. We believe, that tourism is a force for good and are passionate to help our clients discover, understand and cherish our planet`s diversity, unique nature and cultural heritage.
Responsible tourism comes in many ways, and includes all sustainability issues plus the way we behave and act in order to solve them. In other words, tourism is what we – as tourism professionals and tourists – make it.
We can be individually responsible and collectively responsible, we can show examples, we can educate, develop and promote behavior which can reduce the negative impact and show the positive, unique and authentic experience travel can bring. Responsible tourism is about how tourism functions, respecting the nature, the people, the cultures…. our Planet.
When we understand our responsibility, we can challenge ourselves to make the change, to be confident in our abilities to act in a positive way, to achieve results.
Being responsible is part of the business culture and ethics and it involves sustainable use and conservation of resources, reducing waste and pollution, supporting local communities, cherishing and protecting the biodiversity on our planet. Tourism depends on resources and the absence of resource protection undermines its potential for development.
Tourism is one of the largest and most important world industries. It accounts for 11% of the world’s GDP and 12% of its exports. Despite regional problems, crises and pandemics, it shows and increasing ability to adapt and survive, because of the humans` longing to explore and experience new places. Tourism provides a livelihood for millions of people and enables billions to travel and immerse themselves in the cultural and natural resources of various destinations.
The crisis we experience right now can provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to reconsider the relationship between tourism and economy, climate and nature, and be more responsible. According to UN, we have 5 priority areas to consider for the future development of tourism:
1. Crisis management and mitigation of the socio-economic consequences for people’s lives, especially for women’s employment and economic security.
2. Increasing the competitiveness and potential for counteraction – support for the development of the tourism industry, investments, development of domestic and regional tourism
3. Innovation and digitalization in tourism through the adoption of packages of measures for the use of new technologies
4. Assistance in ensuring sustainable and ecological growth
5. Strengthening coordination and partnerships
Across Europe has signed Tourism Declares Climate emergency declaration, and in this way we joined the global community of more than 400 tourism organisations, companies and professionals, all committed to delivering a Climate Action Plan aligned with the need to cut emissions in half by 2030.
We strongly believe in the necessity to contribute to sustainable and responsible tourism on the ground of solidarity, mutual respect, ethics, equal opportunity and human rights, cultural integrity and improving of quality of life of all people.
Across Europe`s aim is to demonstrate responsible tourism policies and influence all partners and clients, by engaging them in understanding the strategic need for improvements in tourism and its sustainability. We understand that it is of utmost importance to continuously communicate and collaborate and expect our staff and stakeholders to integrate sustainable thinking into their behaviour.
The aims of our responsible policy are:
1. To involve, influence and educate our staff, partners and clients for the importance of behaving and acting in a sustainable way
2. To demonstrate effective sustainability management within the company and show an example
3. To help and give practical support
4. To maximize the social and economic benefits for the local communities, nature and cultural sites, to minimize the negative impacts
5. To create and promote more sustainable travel, to refine the company understanding and continue improving the quality of its services.
OUR SUSTAINABILITY in 2022: The very challenging and eventful year 2022 has passed. We are committed to work together and contribute to offering more responsible tourism, with care for our environment, local communities and customers. What did we achieve:
– we have increased the offers of small hotels and accommodation in order to support local businesses, we continued to encourage the meeting with local people, the demonstrations of Bulgarian way of life, culture, crafts and cuisine
– we continued to promote trips outside the active tourist season
– we continued to promote walking tours, especially in urban environments and without the use of transport, we continued to encourage the use of public transport, including buses and trains
–we gave away a glass bottle to all foreign tourists with a stay of 7+ days in Bulgaria, so that they do not buy plastic bottles
-we participated in initiatives for collection and recycling of plastic and paper
-we have optimized the use of paper in our office and are happy with the digitalization of a large part of the organizational documentation
-we donated funds to plant trees in Bulgaria as an effort to offset the carbon footprint we leave when travelling
-we conducted and participated in various trainings with an ecological focus