Explore is the UK's leading small group adventure tour operator. Since we started in 1981 our programme has grown from 4 to over 500 different itineraries in 140 countries, including discovery, hiking, wildlife and cycling tours, plus family tours, school tours and, most recently, tailor-made trips.
Our aim is to visit the world’s most amazing places but also to scratch below the surface, get off the beaten track and get a real flavour of the country. Travelling in a small group has been central to our ethos right from the start, and this makes it much easier to meet the people, soak up their culture and appreciate their wildlife and environment without impacting irreversibly on their ways. Our aim, in fact, is to impact positively.
Member since: 26 Nov 2004
How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
We believe that we should be an economic benefit to the communities we visit.
Our tours are planned to visit not just the popular places, but to also get off the beaten track. This helps generate incomes in more remote communities.
Wherever possible we use locally owned services; from family run hotels to small taxi firms, local boatmen, cameleers and so forth.
Community-based tourism alliances are actively sought and incorporated into our tours.
We encourage our groups to eat out at a variety of local restaurants and shop in markets and local shops.
We make no profit from any excursions booked locally, meaning money goes direct to the people intended.
We maximise employment opportunities for local people by employing them as tour leaders, guides, drivers and crew. We have an active policy of increasing the number of locally based tour leaders and we train every leader who works for us ourselves. Our training is probably the best in the business.
We try to ensure that people who work with us are paid a fair wage and that we respect fair tipping practice. We work with Tourism Concern and porter organisations to ensure best practice.
It is our duty to minimise our impact on the environment.
Our environmental impact is considered in planning tours and we will only travel where we know our impact is positive.
We recognise that the flights are the most significant environmental impact of our tours. We thus offset all flights we book.
Our extensive Responsible Tourism Policy for Overseas Operations is practical manual provided to all our tour leaders and suppliers to ensure they work to best environmental practice on tour.
We support a wide variety of conservation initiatives working to preserve wildlife and the natural environment in the places we visit.
We have implemented extensive measures in our office to reduce our environmental impact; from our Carbon Trust Audit to cycle to work schemes and installing waterless urinals. We even recycle paper towels and bras!
We care about and respect local people on our tours and in our own community.
Meeting local people is one of the highlights of travel. We try to facilitate as many opportunities as possible for our groups to interact. We want any interaction to be positive for both sides so we only go where we know we will be welcome. We train our tour leaders and brief our customers how to dress and behave in order not to cause offence.
We want to support people by doing business well, but we think that all responsible businesses should ‘put something back’ into the communities they visit to help the most vulnerable and those unable to benefit from tourism. As such we support pro-poor projects including clinics, orphanages and agricultural projects in a wide variety of countries.
We ensure our staff and those who work for us are treated with respect and have fair working conditions.
We want to be a good member of our own community here in the UK and are an active member of our local business and community group.
The founders led overland trips across Asia, Africa and the Americas in the 60s and 70s before creating this company in 1981. Today, it offers tours in 120 countries but never lost that pioneering spirit of adventure.