We take our responsibilities to the world and the environment we work in very seriously. Below is the full Responsible Travel Policy of BnB Colombia Tours.
All the partners with whom we collaborate on our tours, or through our office and internet business, have their base in Colombia.
We almost entirely work with smaller local businesses or families with whom we want to establish a long-term relationship, without intermediaries.
We arrive with guests throughout the year thereby ensuring the season is year-round. This, in turn, increases the financial stability of the operators and guides with whom we work.
Many of our tours include some meals. This means that breakfast and sometimes dinner is served at the hotel. We ensure that where possible, we use locally owned accommodations. Furthermore, we arrange at least some of the meals in local restaurants outside the hotel in an effort to support the local economy. At the same time, we encourage the purchase of souvenirs and other goods directly from local producers and craftsmen.
We contribute directly to many community projects in the many various regions of Colombia that we visit. We have established continuing cooperation with several indigenous communities.
Almost all of our paperwork is handled electronically. Communication with clients and partners is sent via
e-mail or electronic message, rather than in printed format. We limit paper brochures to the bare minimum, if at all. Additional communications are via the internet.
To improve our carbon footprint we delete all old email communications to free up data on the servers. Where possible we share Google Drive links for photos and videos, thereby reducing data usage. Out of hours, we turn off wi. fi routers.
We operate a re-use policy whereby we encourage all our clients to leave behind printed travel information such as sightseeing books, maps or anything else, at the end of their trip for the next guests. This minimises the amount of printed material as much as possible.
We are proud to have a “leave no trace philosophy”. Since many of our tours are based on visits to protected areas, we promote activities such as walking and cycling where possible. We pay special attention so that we do not disturb any wild animals, birds or plants in their natural habitat. Naturally, of course, we do not touch unnecessarily any fauna or any living entity. We reduce noise and commotion where possible. We are particularly pleased when our travellers do not leave any trace of ever having been there.
At some of our destinations, waste management is still a problem. We encourage our suppliers and guides to minimise plastic waste in all areas. We often even pick up trash left by other travellers on their tours, which we deposit only in places where sorting and recycling of waste are possible.
Most of our staff are guides that are experienced in conservation and environmental issues. We transfer their knowledge to our guests so that they learn in-depth about the traditions, culture and natural resources of the region.
Our travellers are escorted by experienced and well-trained guides who know the area thoroughly. We explore extraordinarily special natural features and cities rich in cultural heritage, including protected areas. This gives our guests a unique insight into each destination and with us, they travel and think like the locals.
Our primary concern with tourism in Colombia is to ensure that there is only a positive impact on local communities and culture. For this reason, we only run small group tours.
For all our guests there is always pre-trip information available for each destination. Where possible, we like to ensure that upon arrival they feel comfortable and confident ahead of their Colombian experience. Greeted by the local guide at the airport, who is our representative, they will have explained to them all the details of the tour and be provided with additional local information.
For this, our guests are generally very appreciative.
We always include on our tours, visits to local providers where possible. For instance, we visit local coffee and chocolate fincas (farms) in the Eje Cafetero, private homes for cooking classes and nature reserves for turtle releases into the ocean. In this way, local providers are able to generate additional income. We pay for their presentations, while visitors can purchase their products.
Avoiding single-use plastics is high on our agenda. Our guides often organise initiatives such as clearing trash dumped on nature by thoughtless humans. We are also regular participants in conservation events throughout Colombia.
While the need to go the proverbial extra mile is central to our company philosophy, our ethos is that our guests depart emotionally richer, more informed and ecologically aware than when they arrived.