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RESPONS Sustainability Report 2022

Three years have passed since our last report. Of course, the pandemic has hit us hard and at some point almost caused a total halt in our activities. But all of that did not manage to  stop us completely.

Today, only days before the end of 2022, we can say that we have largely recovered. We are still not reaching pre-pandemic levels, but small steps have taken us back to a certain normality with the satisfaction of learning huge lessons along the way.

Here is our humble list of actions we have taken since mid-2020, some big, some small, but all of them with the most caring feeling for our people, our planet, and of course, Peru.

Timeline of sustainability actions

2020

Following the declaration of a nationwide lockdown that lasted for months, most people were deprived of their right to labor and of having a stable income, for instance. Support from the government was lacking. Hence, Guido started a campaign to help people in Peru.

July – First round of donations to people affected by the pandemic thanks to the generosity of our clients, friends and family.

October – Second round of donations to people affected by the pandemic.

Under the view that better tourism is possible and with the present scenery that the planet needed a break from us, we…

November – Joined the movement Future Of Tourism committing to its 13 principles. And we extend an invitation to other businesses to join too!

2021

Encouraged by the fact that today, more than ever, sustainability is the right approach to do absolutely everything, we updated our compromise with society, the environment and the economy by…

February – Renewing our Travelife partner stage certification because we believe in this process that we form part of since 2018.

– Also, during the same period, we rewrote our company’s mission in accordance to the broader scale we are into now:

“Improving living conditions in Peru through the development and promotion of sustainable tourism”

After a year under the newly imposed circumstances of working remotely, and not welcoming any travelers to Peru, we tried to keep ourselves busy by preparing for the future, so we did the following:

February/March – Facilitation of sustainability training (3 Travelife mini-courses) for our first (and entirely home-based) intern after the beginning of the pandemic.

June – Third and last round of donations to people affected by the pandemic for a grand total of 15.380 € raised since may 2020!

JulyThree workshops involving covid protocols and sustainability were held in important destinations like: The Coffee Route to Machu Picchu (Cusco), The Colca Canyon (Coporaque, Arequipa) and Titicaca (Puno).

August – Launch of the new website. Currently displaying 67 sustainable tours of many different providers allowing them free promotion of their products. Independent travelers soon found our booking platform and as such have contributed to the much needed reactivation of tourism across Peru.

And by the end of the year, we reaffirmed our commitment to sustainability (we also had our first clients through our brand new platform of sustainable tours).

October – We became a Tourism Declares Climate Emergency signatory. We have made public our declaration and are currently working on our action plan which we hope to finish in the first trimester of 2023. This is also an invitation to you to take part in this important global initiative.

November – Supported a new [water] refill station setup (Shunto Café in Leymebamba). Because, in case you did not know it, we are proud Refill Ambassadors.

2022

This was the year that presented an opportunity for recovery, and we set off well.

January –  A new sustainability-oriented contract for providers was prepared. So all our business partners know how important sustainability is to us. 

March – CO2 compensation for our operations with Regenera was started. This is a goal that every business should aim to include.

April – A new [water] refill station setup (Jardines de Mandor in Cusco) was supported.

June – The Sustainability Scores project for platform tours was launched; enabling us to measure and show the impacts of each excursion we sell on our booking platform.

– The sustainability-oriented blog Irresponsible Destinations and Experiences in Peru was posted, making public our point of view about certain popular attractions that do not comply with our sustainability criteria.

By the second half of the year, we were already making significant progress and improvements.

We even met a new host family whose homestay we’ll soon add to our trips and tours

July – First salary increase for employees after the crisis caused by the pandemic.

– Two bachelor student thesis were finished under our advisory:

  • Social media as a promotion tool for Community-Based Tourism products offered by RESPONSible Travel Peru.
  • Creating a survey for RESPONSible Travel Peru to measure the impacts its CBT projects have on the communities they work with.

October Internal workshops with a partial focus on sustainability were held. After three years of not being able to meet in person, the whole team got together for a very refreshing week of work and camaraderie. 

November – Code of conduct acceptance against Sexual exploitation of children and teenagers in tourism-related activities. Because it is our duty and we encourage all travel businesses to do the same.

-The sustainability-oriented blog The Niños Hotels in Cusco was posted, because this a 100% socially purposed hotel that we love to recommend!

December – Started the Sustainability Action Plan development, besides working hard into upgrading to a certified stage in Travelife. This is our next challenge as we keep learning that achieving sustainability requires constant work.

There is no doubt that the last two-and-a-half years were challenging. But today, our team is reassembled with half the personnel consisting of previous members and the new half with a mix of young and experienced people, all with the common purpose of pursuing sustainability in the company processes.

So despite the fact that we are confident about our resiliency, we won’t rest on our laurel. That is why we resume our commercial activities in parallel with many sustainability actions, thus guaranteeing the success of RESPONSible tourism in Peru.

ABOUT RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL PERU

RESPONS’ mission is to improve living conditions in Peru through developing and promoting sustainable tourism. We’ve implemented a business model in which all areas of human relations are respected, and - equally important - respect for the planet is incorporated.

Following this business model, we practice fair trade, foster cultural identity, promote equal opportunities, and we preserve the environment that surrounds us and other species.

Together with you we improve, day by day, on the always-demanding path towards sustainability.

Tours in Peru

An offering will be given to Mother Earth to express our thankfulness for life, nature, and all that we have.

Spiritual ceremony experience in Cusco’s mountains

People enjoying local food

Family Adventure Days in Tambopata

Quick and Easy Expedition to the Tambopata Jungle

Macaw clay lick

Tambopata’s Landmarks Expedition

Easy expedition to the Tambopata Jungle

Colonial architecture carved details in Sillar stone in Arequipa

Arequipa Walking Tour

Cordillera Blanca Trek – Vicos to Ishinca