Choosing a responsible tour operator is an important decision for any traveler. It's essential to find out how they are minimizing their global impact and offsetting carbon emissions, as well as what their stance is on animal welfare. Additionally, it's important to consider the demographic of the people you'll be traveling with, as this can have a big impact on your experience. When looking for a tour operator, it's important to consider the type of people you want to travel with.
For example, if you're looking for a tour of Japan that is full of older families, you may not have much in common with them. On the other hand, if you're looking for a tour that has people of your own demographic profile, you may be more likely to make lasting connections. It's also important to look into the tour operator's responsible travel policy and animal welfare guidelines. Responsible travel policies should include specific measures that the tour operator has implemented to ensure that their trips and operations are environmentally, socially and culturally sustainable.
Additionally, it's worth checking if the tour operator is part of the Coalition for Ethical Wildlife Tourism, which has pledged not to sell or promote excursions that include wildlife entertainment. When it comes to features that will make your life easier, such as booking software and add-ons, it's important to compare the fees charged by different tour operators. For example, Square may charge a 3% fee while Peek or Fareharbor may charge 6%. Finally, it's worth taking a look at the tour operator's website and social media pages to get an idea of who is participating in their tours.
Most travel companies display the demographics of their guests on their “About Us” page, so you can get an idea of who you'll be traveling with before you book.