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Adventure Travel Tip: Opting for Ethical Travel

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Be an ethical traveler by selecting travel companies that keep at least 60% of the money you pay within the host country—this helps provide economic incentives for local communities to protect their natural and cultural heritage. While there’s no complete directory of ethical tour operators (as there’s no one single green stamp or certification), one way to check to see if the company you’re considering booking through meets this criteria is to check with the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). In 2012, the group did a survey of more than 200 of its travel company members and was able to highlight outfitters who retain nearly 70 percent of every dollar their travelers spend in the host country. To find a sustainable travel tour operator, click here. “

—Jim Sano is the vice president of the World Wildlife Fund’s Sustainable Tourism and Adventure Travel Initiative, the World Wildlife Travel Program. He’s been traveling the world as head of adventure tourism companies for more than 25 years and has logged trips in 75 countries—including rafting through the Peruvian Amazon’s Tambopata River, riding a camel in Northern Kenya and almost being buried alive by an avalanche between Camp 1 and 2 on Everest. His favorite adventure? Co-leading the first guided trip to retrace Sir Ernest Shackleton’s route across South Georgia Island.    

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