Ecochile Travel

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Member since: 09 Jun 2020

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

Our main purpose is to inspire local experiences; therefore, our trip specialists work together  with the local suppliers to design experiences that work with local people and businesses in  our destinations. We do this via a constant strong research effort, belonging to a special  network of local suppliers that are striving to make real change, and most importantly,  visiting the destinations ourselves to ensure that the services we offer are aligned with our  values. 
For us, it is fundamental that our partners support the local, regional economies and  communities of our destinations, such as, in the case of local tour operators, employing local  guides and drivers. This also applies to hotels, which should similarly employ the local  community without any type of discrimination. Both activities and accommodations should  include food that is obtained locally, encouraging local producers to supply their operations. 
Additionally, we adhere to the principles of fair trade and share them with our customers at  the time of booking: ?https://ecochile.travel/10-principles-of-fair-trade-from-wfto/ 

Environmental responsibility

Working together with our partners and local suppliers, our team is committed to designing  smart, responsible, and sustainable itineraries that are similarly beneficial for the destination  and the client. Some of the ways we achieve this include offering small group activities that  operate on different schedules to avoid crowds (e.g. visiting popular tourist attractions  outside of peak time), reducing the impact on local people and wildlife through small-group  travel, and refusing to promote/condoning any activities that feature captive animals. Also,  our itineraries are designed to reduce the use of planes to get to places that are easily  accessible by land.    We have also eliminated single-use plastics from our operations, encouraging guests to  bring reusable bottles and working with our suppliers around the country to ensure that  purified water is available at all hotels and on our tours. Recycling programs are also being  implemented.     Our selected partners and direct operations must include the consensual participation and  support of local communities, ensuring that they are willing and open to sharing their  lifestyles and cultures with visitors, and supporting local communities further by employing  locals for tours and at the accommodation options.    We prefer activities that provide and include informative talks from the guides on  environmental projects and challenges, as well as lectures about Leave No Trace practices  and other educational initiatives on minimizing environmental damage.    Ultimately. we adhere to the code of conduct for responsible tourism and share it with  clients at the time of booking:  https://ecochile.travel/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Code-of-Conduct-Responsible-Tourist-S ERNATUR-1.pdf    In our workplace, we minimize our use of paper products by providing digital  documentations to all of our clients prior to traveling, as well as only printing essential  brochures and documents. We also have a recycling program in our office in Santiago and a  reduction plan to scale back on the use of Styrofoam, cafeteria trays, single-use soft drink  bottles, plastic utensils, grocery plastic bags, aluminum foil, etc.    Additionally, under Chilean law, our office uses one less work hour, which we use to allow  our employees to arrive half an hour later in the morning and leave half an hour earlier in  the evening. This allows them to avoid rush hours, thereby reducing commuting time,  providing a better quality of life, and promoting other, more sustainable and healthy forms  of transportation such as cycling. We also have a fruit delivery service to provide all office  staff with healthy snacks, as well as supporting a local business.

Social responsibility

We believe that travel is a tool that connects people of different realities that otherwise  wouldn’t have had a chance to meet. For this reason, we feel a strong responsibility to make  these encounters as authentic, educational, and transformative as possible. On one side, it  opens up the minds of visitors who are able to put themselves in a stranger's shoes for a  while, and on the other side, it allows local communities to share their way of life with  outsiders, expressing real-world stories about their lives, struggles, and triumphs.  
Thus, we create itineraries and experiences based not only on the attractions but also the  people and societies involved along the journey. Our trips feature local guides who provide  real context about the communities travelers are visiting and educate them on the culture,  history, and lifestyle of the destination. We also promote local artisan traditions and trades,  visiting projects like weavers and the Coyo community in the Atacama desert and artisan  villages in the Lake District and Chiloe, raising awareness of these cultural and artistic  traditions and giving visitors the opportunity to purchase souvenirs that will direct benefit  the community. 

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