OUR RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL POLICIES
We want to show you the world the VIVID Travel way, which is travelling with care and consideration. We believe that you should have an unforgettable journey; knowing that your trip will have minimal negative impacts on the environment, people and animals where you visit and potentially creating positive change.
At VIVID Travel, we are working to make the world a better place by focusing our responsible business activities on:
- The Environment
We review our policies on a regular basis and amend when necessary. Each year our board of directors sign-off the policies. If you observe any non-compliance of our policies while on a VIVID Travel trip or at any other time during your interaction with the business, please contact us at [email protected].
Amendments to our responsible business policies are shared with our business partners and suppliers and we work with them to ensure a continuous improvement approach towards compliance. In extreme cases, we may decide to stop working with a supplier if they are unable to demonstrate their commitment to our policies and expected standards.
We choose our partners carefully and ensure that their responsible business policies are closely aligned with our own. Our health and safety partners conduct regular independent audits across our supply chain and we work with suppliers to implement changes if required.
At VIVID Travel, the welfare of animals is a high priority. We wholeheartedly support the ultimate goal of the not for profit organisation Born Free, namely, an end to the keeping of wild animals in captivity. We will never take you to a zoo or aquarium where animals are merely there for ‘show’.
We closely follow the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) Animal Welfare Guidelines when selecting experiences to include in our journeys.
VIVID Travel promises to:
- Always support the ‘Five Freedoms’ of animal welfare (it follows we are unable to arrange hunting trips)
- Only support establishments where conservation, and not tourism, is top priority
- Never support establishments which take animals from the wild for commercial purposes
- Never support establishments which use animals for the purposes of entertainment
- Regularly review and audit our animal experiences
- Always follow, review and update our Animal Welfare Policy
- Remove any experiences which fail to meet our criteria
- Promote our Animal Welfare Policy and awareness of animal welfare amongst all staff members.
The Five Freedoms set out by the Global Standards for Animals in Tourism:
- Freedom from hunger or thirst
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease
- Freedom to express normal behaviour
- Freedom from fear and distress.
We have identified that elephant welfare is at high risk in many of the countries where we operate. We have therefore made a specific commitment to elephants but these principles apply to all animals.
VIVID Travel will only include within its travel products visits to elephant sanctuaries and rescue centres where:
- The primary purpose of the centre is the rescue and rehabilitation of elephants and a concern for their welfare;
- The elephants do not perform any specific tasks for entertainment including, but not limited to, elephant rides, circus acts, and painting pictures;
- The elephants are well treated including, but not limited to:
- No use of chains and not confined to a small area such as a cage
- Access to adequate food, water and shade
- Young are not separated from their parents and elephants are not bred for commercial benefit.
If you are travelling with us and see an animal being mistreated on one of our travel products, please contact us at [email protected].
MANAGING OUR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
We believe that when we travel we should minimise negative impacts and seek opportunities to preserve the environment. Our industry heavily relies on resources within the natural environment which are often fragile or under stress. We therefore have a duty of care to help ensure the sustainability of these resources for all to benefit.
We have identified the following three environmental impacts or resource issues which we believe are most important for us to manage:
Water – helping to ensure access to clean water for all and mitigating any impact on water-stressed areas.
Carbon – minimising our contribution to climate change by considering carbon emissions across our products and services and adapting our type of travel or energy use where possible.
Waste & Plastics – minimising waste generation and single use plastic pollution by adhering to the avoid, reduce, reuse and recycle principles.
Activities to manage these three impacts are addressed across our four environmental pillars of: minimising any negative impact of our products and services, managing our own operational impact, seeking opportunities to support conservation efforts and reducing single use plastics.
1. Minimising negative impact of our products and services
We work closely with our suppliers and partners to ensure that accommodation, transport and experiences are assessed to reduce their environmental impact. We aim to work towards the Travelife certification standard and welcome the opportunity to work with suppliers who have achieved this or are also working towards this industry recognised standard.
With our customers, we raise awareness of local environmental issues and provide information about how they can help preserve the environment such as adhering to national park visitor rules or minimising use of non-recyclables.
2. Managing our own operational impact
We regularly evaluate the impact of how we work, such as our offices and the actions of our employees, to identify where we can reduce the environmental footprint of VIVID Travel. We focus on our use of paper and other consumables to reduce waste, business travel and energy conservation.
3. Supporting conservation projects
We identify conservation projects to support which we believe are relevant to our business and the countries or communities where we operate. We support the work of World Land Trust who raise funds for their partner organisation in Ecuador, to purchase land which is currently under threat from the expansion of agriculture. These vital areas of forest will become wildlife corridors to connect fragmented patches of land, in turn ensuring that a continuous, protected habitat exists for wildlife and local communities. World Land Trust is a registered charity dedicated to conservation; Sir David Attenborough is one of their esteemed patrons.
4. Reducing single use plastics
We also support the work of the Marine Conservation Society, who raise funds to ensure our seas are healthy, pollution free and protected. In particular, we want to work to help reduce the amount of plastic in our seas. From 1st January 2019, we will we will apply a small additional charge for every flight booking on an airline which incorporates single use plastics in their in-flight service. This levy will be donated to the Marine Conservation Society without deduction.
Please talk to our Travel Designers about which airlines we recommend who work to reduce their single-use plastic consumption, and about how you can help to reduce your plastic footprint while travelling.
THE FAIR TREATMENT OF PEOPLE
We recognise that while there are cultural, economic or legislative differences in the countries in which we operate, everyone has the right to be treated fairly and with respect. Where we can, we will maximise the influence of VIVID Travel to help build better places and create positive social wellbeing.
As a minimum, we comply with relevant national and international legislation but strive to go beyond minimum requirements to create positive change.
Supporting local economies and communities
We aim to maximise the benefits of tourism by building sustainable livelihoods and promoting the economic development of the communities in which we operate. As part of this approach, we act with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships, engage with local suppliers where possible and implement fair employment practices and pay a fair wage.
We leave a positive impact on the places we visit by:
- Designing our trips so that they directly involve and support local communities;
- Ensuring our suppliers are themselves using businesses which implement fair employment practices and do not exploit their staff; and
- Purchasing locally produced goods and services where possible.
Respecting cultures and customs
We respect cultures, customs and local etiquette by ensuring that our travel products and services are conducted in a culturally-sensitive manner. Where appropriate, we use our role in tourism to promote greater understanding of cultures.
Treating people with respect and upholding human rights
We treat all people we interact with in a fair and considered manner and expect the same from our suppliers.
Throughout our operations, our supply chain and our business transactions, people are treated with respect, dignity, equality and freedom. We uphold international human rights principles and aim to affect positive change in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
We have a zero tolerance towards any form of slavery, forced labour or human trafficking. The prevention, detection and reporting of slavery, forced labour or trafficking in any part of our business is the responsibility of all those working with us. However, we also have controls in place to monitor such high-risk activity across our business and suppliers.
We protect children from all forms of exploitation or abuse across our operations and supply chain. This means that:
- We do not employ children or use suppliers which allow children to perform illegal work or any other activities which might impact a child’s health, safety or other basic rights including but not limited to any form of child prostitution;
- We do not visit centres, orphanages or other locations which expose or ‘put on show’ children or other vulnerable people; and
- Following proper due diligence, we may include credible initiatives which safeguard and contribute to the positive development of young people.
If you are travelling with us and believe you see anyone being mistreated on one of our travel products, please let us know straightaway via [email protected].
Last reviewed 24 January 2019. Next review due 21st November 2019.