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Sustainability Scores

Working in sustainability and Community-Based-Tourism since 2009, we have become real experts in the field. However, we believe refining your best practices and improving is always possible. 

Now, by measuring the impact of each of the experiences we offer on our platform, we have taken our work to the next level. This way, we hope to increase sensitization among our customers and partners and bring more like-minded people on board as we seek to make this planet a better place to live.

Why Sustainability Scores?

Bringing positive change to Peru through sustainable tourism is the common goal that every member of our team strives to achieve, that binds us together and motivates us never to stop what we are doing.  Without it, we wouldn’t be where we are today, and our work wouldn’t have the same value.

Therefore, we wanted to give the concept of sustainability the attention it deserves within our company and carry out a project analyzing its actual outcome. Measuring the impact of our tours in terms of sustainability seemed to be the perfect way of doing that. So, we decided to give it a go.

If you want to find out what the scores displayed for each tour mean, how they were calculated, and how they can guide you throughout our website, read on as we will explain to you everything you need to know about them.

What's the project about?

Our Sustainability Scores are designed to motivate our travelers to think more about their impact before, during, and after traveling to Peru (and other countries). Of course, we are proud of all the tours we’ve designed and the work we’ve put into ensuring our experiences are sustainable. Adding a score, though, helps us spread awareness about a subject for which our entire team cares deeply. 

While scrolling through our experiences, we want you to ask yourself, “what makes this tour sustainable?” and to familiarize yourself with the critical ideas at the heart of sustainable travel and the different positive actions you can take as a traveler. 

Next to communicating with our clients, we want to incentivize our providers to work on the sustainability of their products. Without access to responsible tours in Peru, you as visitors would have a hard time traveling with peace of mind. Therefore, we must ensure that what we offer you truly goes hand in hand with the kind of travel we champion. 

By working on sustainability with our providers, we can identify their strengths compared to others and find out where there is potential to improve. Thus, we have embarked on a mutual journey towards delivering more responsible tours with them.

How Were the Scores Calculated?

As part of her master’s program in tourism management, Caroline, who is now a proud member of our team, has taken on the task of calculating the Sustainability Scores. 

After assembling as much information as possible about the subject, she has chosen the most relevant and comparable indicators to analyze. Based on these indicators, she crafted a survey, which she then used to analyze every tour we offer on our platform. Participants interviewed for the survey were all drawn from members of RESPONS or providers we work with on our tours.

During the interviews, Caroline retrieved quantitative and qualitative data from every tour. According to these answers, she attributed a score to each indicator and used it to calculate a total score. 

Even though many exact numbers were retrieved in the interviews, the evaluation of the tours also included a more “human” element. The tours differ a lot from each other depending on whether they are Culinary Tours, Nature Tours or Hiking Tours, for example. 

Therefore, they are not always perfectly comparable. To be fair in our evaluations, we have allowed every provider to add anything they want to about the sustainability of their tour. We have then considered if they are working on a really great project that deserves to be rewarded according to our standards. 

How to read the scores?

First of all: no score is bad! All the tours that we offer on our platform have been carefully selected and are great examples of sustainable experiences. So, you definitely don’t have to refrain from booking a tour because its score is slightly lower than another one. 

Instead, we want sustainability to be omnipresent on our website so that our travelers don’t lose sight of it when planning their trip to Peru. We’d simply like you to always keep the impact of your trip in mind, not to demonize any of the tours or complicate things too much.

However, we did indeed go ahead and calculate the score of an ideal tour, which is a Multi-Day Tour in Peru that would obtain all of the points possible in every measured category. The score that such a tour would achieve is approximately 50. This is, therefore, the best possible score in our system, and you can use it as a reference. The stars filling out the circle around the score indicate how close the tour gets to the maximum.

If you are wondering why the best possible tour is a Multi-Day Tour rather than a Day Tour, this is because we advocate slow travel. By staying in one destination for a longer time, you increase your positive impact on the local people, engage more in cultural exchange and reduce your carbon footprint as you take less transport. We always encourage travelers to make fewer trips but longer ones. Therefore, we consider the long experience on our platform as more sustainable, and they tend to have higher scores. 

We understand that merely assigning a number to a tour doesn’t give you a full picture of what the tour entails and its sustainability strengths. Therefore, every score comes accompanied by a small description giving more details. For every tour, you can find this description here:

Why is this experience RESPONSible?

In this section, you can see in what sense the chosen tour is sustainable. Some experiences include great environmental projects, for example. Of course, our Jungle Tours all have a high score regarding nature conservation. Other experiences, such as our City Tours, focus more on social and cultural values. They enable you to contact local people and learn about their customs and traditions, which makes their scores rise. Depending on what you are most interested in and what kind of project you want to support, you can use the description that aligns with your ideal experience.

What's next?

Measuring tours in terms of their sustainability is something very new and innovative, though early research confirms travelers’ growing interest in such projects. Travelers, for the most part, have a stronger will to travel sustainably than ever before. 

However, they sometimes still struggle to put their will into practice. By calculating and sharing the sustainability scores on our platform, we have applied the theory to a specific case, namely to all of the tours you can book with us. We hope it helps to decrease the gap between people’s willingness to travel sustainably and their actual behavior. 

As you might have expected, we will not stop at this point. In the future, we will upload more RESPONSible experiences to our new platform to ensure every traveler finds the tour they are looking for. As we craft each new tour, we will continue interviewing more providers, be it the ones we already work with or new ones we will start collaborating with. 

The scores and the way of calculating them will be perfected over time, and so presentation on the platform may evolve. Each day we’re pushing forward and developing our expertise in this area, and we love sharing the results with every traveler who joins us on our tours.

If you have any questions regarding our tours or sustainable travel generally, please get in touch

Some of our most sustainable tours:

  • A feel good tour
    Lush cloud forest and river flowing down to Manu plains | RESPONSible Travel Peru

    Manu Spirit, Nature and Culture

    4 Days, 3 Nights
    Availability : April-November
    The right amount of time for all that Manu offers, including wellness activities. Experience a […]
  • Active and Unique Expedition
    Lake Morón in the desert by Ica is a true hidden gem and makes for a wonderful hike through the desert - RESPONSible Travel Peru

    Quick magical desert experience

    2 Days, 1 Night
    Availability : All year round

    Get to know Peru’s less-known, but not less wonderful, desert and spend an unforgettable camping night there.

    Get to know Peru's less-known, but not less wonderful, desert and spend an unforgettable camping […]
  • Active and Unique
    The traveler carrying his sand plate from the top of Cerro Blanco | Responsible Travel Peru

    On top of the desert: Nazca

    4 Days, 3 Nights
    Availability : All year round
    A demanding trekking in the Nasca desert with spectacular views and many cultural surprises. Enjoy […]
  • All in one
    sunset over river | Responsible Travel Peru

    Amazon Full Adventure in Iquitos

    6 Days 5 Nights
    Availability : All year round (Apr-Dec preferably)
    This is the whole package if what you are looking for is to deeply experience […]
  • Practical & unique
    A stone gate at the top of Tikonata Island, Lake Titicaca | RESPONSible Travel Peru

    From Puno to Cusco the RESPONSible Way!

    3 Days 2 Nights (longer version of "Quick Titicaca experience from Puno to Cusco")
    Availability : All year round
    The most practical way to visit Titicaca's hidden gems and have a unique experience on […]
  • Our most popular Colca tour
    Local homestay in the Colca Canyon. Community-Based tourism in Coporaque, Colca Canyon, Peru | RESPONSible Travel Peru

    Experience the Colca Canyon with homestay in Coporaque

    3 Days, 2 Nights
    Availability : All year round
    We believe the community of Coporaque is the real must-visit of the Colca Canyon. Stay […]
  • Routes to discover
    Kuelap's slim entrance in a yellowish rock wall that seems to be infinite along the mountain ridge | Responsible Travel Peru

    Searching for the lost Kingdom of the Chachapoyas

    7 Days 6 Nights
    Availability : from April to October
    After this trip you will never see Peru in the same way. The Chachapoyas culture […]
  • Titicaca's Best Buy!
    Colorful local men from Taquile island playing traditional instruments. Travel deeper with RESPONSible Travel Peru

    Lake Titicaca with homestay on Taquile island

    2 Days 1 Night (extendable +1)
    Availability : All year round

    Discover Lake Titicaca in an authentic way on the lesser visited Taquile island, spending time with a family that will share their ancestral culture with you.

    Discover Lake Titicaca in an authentic way on the lesser visited Taquile island, spending time […]
  • The most active version!
    Hiking an Inca Road to Machu Picchu - Coffee Route - RESPONSible Travel Peru

    Adventurous Coffee Route Hike to Machu Picchu

    4 days, 3 nights
    Availability : April-December
    Discover the upper jungle around Machu Picchu in a sporty way. Come with RESPONS on […]
  • The quickest Colca tour
    Local homestay in the Colca Canyon. Community-Based tourism in Coporaque, Colca Canyon, Peru | RESPONSible Travel Peru

    Quick Colca Canyon visit with homestay in Coporaque

    2 Days, 1 Nights
    Availability : All year round
    This sustainable excursion from Arequipa takes you to the Colca Canyon's highlights and a wonderful […]