An independent and family-owned tour operator specialising in Scandinavia and North America. We have been established for almost 13 years and in that time have built up a close-knit family of suppliers whom we know and trust to provide holiday excellence. Our philosophy is to combine our own understanding of our loyal clients with our overseas partners’ knowledge of the destinations in which they live and work. All our holidays have been designed following lengthy discussions with the people who really, really know the destinations - the locals. Our intention is to show you their everyday world and not an artificial one created purely by tourist demand.
Member since: 06 May 2015
How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
- We always utilise locally-owned accommodation and activity providers wherever possible. We like to stay off-the-beaten-track and provide a more unique experience for clients so this all goes hand in hand. Wherever possible we try to avoid using large hotel chains as we want the money generated by tourism within a region to remain within the region rather than leaking overseas.
- The areas in which we operate tend to be rural and so employment opportunities can be more limited than in larger towns. A local hotel can provide a vital source of employment in a town and help stem the flow of people from these communities to urban environments. In turn this helps to sustain the economies of small rural towns. We ensure that wherever possible our accommodation providers and activity guides source produce locally when meals are included and if not then we recommend local restaurants to clients. We want to utilise the tourism multiplier effect wherever possible in order to widen the economic benefit of our presence.
- When it comes to souvenirs we will always try to inform clients of some of the locally produced handicrafts to look out for and try to encourage them to purchase goods from the region if they wish to take something home. We also ensure that we discourage the removal of natural souvenirs such as shells, etc. Our clients are informed about souvenir trades that may be detrimental to the environment or that perhaps do not provide their workers with appropriate working conditions. In some countries we feature, bargaining for goods is the local custom and we give guidelines to clients to help them negotiate prices which are both fair to them and the seller. We discourage any form of aggressive haggling.
Tourism and the environment must be managed and the relationship monitored. It is something which we take into account throughout the planning, operation and the evaluation of a holiday.
- Firstly we are a niche operator; we do not send hundreds of clients into one destination during a week. It is not the way in which we operate, nor will it ever be. Large groups are not conducive to successful and high quality holidays and during our small group holidays, the group size is always made appropriate to the nature of the environment and the proximity of our guests to the local population. We do not want local people to feel they have been invaded!
- We work in remote areas and in many places which can only be described as pristine wildernesses. The impact of unmanaged tourism in these areas can be wholly detrimental. Working with local people obviously provides us with a huge advantage in this respect. Our guides' pride in the regions is always tangible and they ensure that the 'leave no trace' ethos is continually expressed to clients and visibly implemented during the activities.
- When we plan our holidays we do so with the environment in mind. We deliberately leave out certain activities if we feel that their impact on the environment is to its detriment. The group sizes which we offer are designed with our clients’ experience in mind, as well as the likely impact on a natural area.
- We assess a hotel's facilities with regards to the environment and have developed an audit to enable us to document the processes and facilities in place in each of our hotels with greater accuracy and in order to help provide our clients with further information.
Where possible we always include group transportation. Not only is this obviously more economical for clients but it reduces harmful emissions. We also ask clients to consider the use of public transport such as trains and buses on their free days (when available).
When planning hotels we ensure that we familiarise ourselves with all means of arriving in a destination, whether by train, sea or by road. When flights are involved we encourage clients to offset the emissions caused – in fact we encourage this for all methods of transport.
- We ensure that wherever possible we use local guides, local transport providers and locally-owned accommodation providers. This gives our clients a much more intimate relationship with the destination in which they are visiting, provides local people with employment and ensures that wherever possible the economic benefits of the tourists' visits are received in the local communities.
- We hope that by helping to provide local employment we will also be helping to preserve remote communities where otherwise younger generations may tend to move towards larger urban areas for work.
- We also ensure that throughout our operations anyone involved with The Artisan Travel Company has a safe and clean environment in which to work; is paid fairly for their work; is not given an unreasonable amount of work; is treated with respect and equality by all clients and members of staff; is not discriminated against for reasons of colour, race, gender, religion or disability,