Detour, The Adventure Travel Marketplace (www.detourdestinations.com), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote Best Management Practices and Certification Support for Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises with the Rainforest Alliance, a leading international conservation organization. The agreement will enhance both Detour’s and the Rainforest Alliance’s goals of promoting sustainable locally owned travel providers, and will make it easier for travelers to find green-certified trips at www.detourdestinations.com.
Sustainable Tourism is defined by Agenda 21, a sustainable development program run by the United Nations as, “Tourism that meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future. It provides economically viable and environmentally sound alternatives to destructive practices such as clearcutting of forest lands.” Sustainable tourism has the potential to improve the lives of local residents and to provide incentives for conservation of wildlands, waterways, and cultural resources.
Detour was founded to promote environmentally and socially responsible local tour operators, and to change the adventure travel industry by encouraging all tour operators and travel providers to become more sustainable. In the agreement with the Rainforest Alliance, Detour has committed to use green certified local companies where possible, and to encourage its non-certified providers to modify their practices so that they can become certified. Rainforest Alliance will provide support for these local companies through training in best management practices and assistance in becoming certified, as well as recognition for them in the Sustainable Tourism Certification Network once they become certified.
“Tourism has many benefits, including global understanding and the economic importance of tourism to many of the world’s developing countries,” said Greg Findley, Detour’s CEO. “But, tourism also has the possibility to harm local cultures and environments. One of the best ways to ensure that tourism has a positive impact is to promote sustainable locally owned and operated travel companies, ensuring that the local communities gain economic benefits from foreign tourists. Our partnership with Rainforest Alliance makes it easier for travelers to choose locally operated sustainable trips, thus making a positive impact while experiencing a fantastic trip.”
“The Rainforest Alliance is excited to be working with Detour, an innovator in the online travel marketplace,” said Ronald Sanabria, director of the Rainforest Alliance’s sustainable tourism program. “This is the first time we have signed an agreement with an online agency, and we commend Detour for its commitment to supporting certified tourism businesses and making a variety of sustainable travel options accessible to consumers online.”
Detour is an innovative online adventure travel marketplace, where travelers can choose exactly the trip they want from a select list of the world’s best local outfitters, helping travelers save money and make sure their vacation dollars go directly into the local economy where they travel. Detour actively promotes sustainable tourism, and works to promote green certified hotels and local tour operators whenever possible.
The Rainforest Alliance is a leading international conservation organization whose goals include promoting ecologically and socially responsible best practices for tourism businesses in Latin America. They promote tourism certification programs by publicizing the various programs’ requirements and the benefits of certification. The Rainforest Alliance also gathers and distributes information about current tourism market conditions and trends, provides marketing support to participating tourism businesses and creates commercial alliances that benefit owners of sustainable tourism businesses. For more information, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org.