Responsible Travel Pioneers

Responsible Travel was founded in April 2001 after Justin Francis spent a memorable night in Kawaza Village in Zambia, and was urged by Jackson, the village headman, to bring more tourists as he needed the income to finish building a medical clinic.

Justin’s experience convinced him that when your trip benefits others, you gain too. He and Professor Harold Goodwin developed the concept of responsible travel – more enjoyable holidays that create better places to live in and to visit – and we became the first business dedicated to it.


We’ve done the hard work to ensure your holiday benefits the local people and places you visit.   We screen every trip against our criteria for responsible travel, and publish the results on every holiday page.  

We can’t say it’s a perfect science. But we do work very hard to maintain the standard we expect of ourselves and our trips – and to keep getting better. Which is why we never stop researching, monitoring and partnering with conservation groups, NGOs and local communities. It’s also why we invite every customer to send us feedback, which we also publish in full as part of our holiday reviews.

Justin in Kawaza Village Zambia
Written by Justin Francis