Good things happen when we travel
Our holidays are designed to make good things happen, for you and the places you visit. We believe that tourism can be a force for good, so we always strive to preserve and support local communities, wildlife, and the environment wherever we go.
That means, when you travel with us, you’ll experience more than a typical holiday. Of course, you’ll get to visit all those incredible highlights that you’ve read so much about or seen on TV. But you’ll also have the chance to experience some unique or quirky hidden gems too, far away from the well-trodden tourist trail.
We’re serious about our commitment to responsible travel. By working with local partners, locally-run accommodation, native guides, and grassroots projects, we aim to ensure that your holiday makes a real difference to the places and people you visit.
Our Make it Meaningful policy is all about making the world a better place through responsible travel, not just for our friends and partners in each destination, but for our customers and our team here too. To keep us on track, we always hold our values close in every decision we make, to ensure we make an impact as a company with a purpose beyond profit.
While long haul travel is, by its very nature, not particularly eco-friendly, we try very hard to minimise our effect on the environment. Travel may not be the best way to preserve our planet, but it certainly makes for a more tolerant, understanding and open-minded global community, which is why it’s so important that your travel experiences are responsible. If you’re looking to offset the carbon from your international flights, we recommend the World Land Trust. They are a conservation charity who can help you offset your carbon emissions using their carbon balanced calculator.
Following the Climate Summit in Glasgow in 2021, Rickshaw Travel, along with over 700 other tourism companies, signed the Glasgow Declaration and Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency. These initiatives are a global network of tourism companies that are jointly committed to halving total emissions by 2030 and to a climate-neutral sector before or at the latest by 2050.
By signing the declaration:
We declare our shared commitment to unite all stakeholders in transforming tourism to deliver effective climate action.
We support the global commitment to halve emissions by 2030 and reach Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050.
We will consistently align our actions with the latest scientific recommendations, so as to ensure our approach remains consistent with a rise of no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100.
As a signatory, we commit to:
Deliver a climate action plan within 12 month of signing.
Report publicly both progress against interim and long-term targets, as well as the actions being taken, at least annually.
Align our plan with five shared pathways (measure, decarbonise, regenerate, collaborate, finance) to ensure climate action is consistent across all of tourism.
Share information on activities connected to Tourism Declares and/or the Glasgow Declaration among contacts and networks.
Work in a collaborative and constructive spirit with other members of Tourism Declares and/or signatories of the Glasgow Declaration.
We believe in making sure that the destinations we sell benefit from travellers visiting them. To aid this endeavour we support Earthly with their nature-based projects. Nature-based solutions protect, better manage and restore ecosystems while addressing global challenges. All of Earthly’s nature-based projects remove carbon to help us be a more carbon-balanced company, along with restoring biodiversity and improve livelihoods in various projects across the world. As well as ensuring that £5 for every traveller we send away on holiday is contributed to Earthly, we also like to carry out little in-house fundraising events ourselves. You can keep up to date with our progress on our impact dashboard.
Sustainable Development Goals
To help ensure our trips have a positive impact on the world, we have integrated three goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into our policies and travels. The SDGs are seventeen goals to make the world a better place by 2030 and have been agreed upon by countries affiliated to the United Nations, including the UK.
Fair & local
By working together with local entrepreneurs, the local population can benefit directly from the trips we carry out together. We work closely with local partners in all our destinations and their dedicated teams will help and guide you through their country, doing their best to ensure you have the trip of a lifetime. They work with, support, and donate to a range of projects and organisations that focus on preserving local cultures.
Make it good for everyone
We consciously choose local accommodation, guides, drivers and local representation. This creates employment and people who otherwise have less access to markets can set up their own honest business. We also try to reduce the inequality between men and women by giving women a prominent role (and therefore a paid job) in our travels. For example, in Nepal we use female drivers and our guides are increasingly women, and in China we work with our local partner who only employs women.
Share the dream
We work with a huge range of carefully selected local partners around the world who, like us, live and breath meaningful travel. We also support many other organisations that help make a positive impact through travel. For example, we contribute to the organisation Earthly with their nature-based projects, and promote World Land Trust to help our travellers offset the carbon emissions of their international flights.
Travelife and Rickshaw Travel
You might notice this Travelife Partner logo dotted around our website, but what does it mean? Travelife is a training, management and certification initiative for tourism companies committed to sustainability. A big focus for Rickshaw Travel in 2014 was working towards achieving the Travelife Partner criteria. There were many areas of the business to look at, from how we run our office to ensuring our local partners in our destinations are on board with responsible tourism practices. We’re proud to say that we achieved our Travelife Better Places Partner criteria in December 2014 and are continuing to make plans to become even more sustainable. Our local partners in Thailand and Brazil have also achieved the accreditation, and we hope this sets the trend for the future.
Travel offers the chance to experience wonder, learn something new, try weird and wonderful flavours, meet new cultures and – for many – get close to wildlife.
We know that tourism – if done badly – can have a harmful effect on wildlife and the welfare of animals who are often exploited for human entertainment, be it a tiger selfie or an elephant show.
That’s why we’re determined to make good things happen for animals through the experiences we offer. We support a number of projects and offer a range of trips that allow you to observe or interact with creatures, great and small in a mindful and respectful way.
Our bite-sized trips
You can choose from a whole range of bite-sized trips across each of our destinations. Our trips are designed to give your plenty of freedom and flexibility, so you can pick and choose the places you want to visit, without being stuck with a rigid itinerary.
Throughout our trips, we try to include experiences that make good things happen – it could be a train ride through the tea hills with the locals, the chance to help a local farmer or a few nights on a quiet beach, away from the crowded sun-loungers and chain hotels. Each destination has its own responsible travel page where we’ve picked out a couple of suggested bite-sized trips to get you inspired.
Making good things happen in our office
Our environmental measures begin on our own doorstep. At home in Brighton, we run a virtually paper-free office and are dedicated recyclers. We believe in putting people first, and provide lots of benefits to staff members to enhance their work and personal life, such as a ‘ride to work’ scheme, and discounts for local fitness centres and holistic therapies, and free private healthcare.