This year, bespoke tour operator Scott Dunn is predicting that travel will extend beyond leaving behind a footprint – it’s going to be all about making a lasting impact. With the increasing demand for environmentally conscious and sustainable travel across the globe, Scott Dunn, a luxury tour operator with more than 30 years of experience in tailoring bespoke holidays, highlights the leading eco-hotels and philanthropic experiences around the world. For travellers looking to roll up their sleeves and give back on their holidays, while gaining insight into the vital work of charities and NGO’s around the world, this hand-picked selection of inspiring experiences would make an unforgettable addition to any itinerary.
Books Not Bombs, Laos
Though books may be plenty for many of children, they’re sadly often a luxury few in Laos can afford. Another issue that has a huge impact on lives in rural Laos is unexploded bombs. Per capita, Laos is the most heavily bombed nation in the world, and it is estimated that around 30% of bombs dropped on the country never exploded. The Books, not Bombs experience offers insight into the people and organisations trying to make a positive impact in Laos through bringing the joy of reading to children and educating communities about the danger of unexploded bombs. The day will include visiting a public library, which has its own tuk-tuk and boats to deliver books, spending time at the UXO (Unexploded Ordnance) Visitor Centre, and finishing off at Big Brother Mouse, a not-for-profit publishing project.
Salaam Baalak Walk In Delhi, India
For a truly immersive experience, this guided walk will be led by a young adult who used to live on the streets of Delhi before joining Salaam Baalak Trust. The tour will offer a unique perspective into the bustling city, exploring the streets of Paharganj and the area around the New Delhi railway station, while at the same time empowering a program which provides care for street and working children.
Meeting A Landmine Expert, Cambodia
Travellers can spend an afternoon at the Landmine Museum with specialist guide Stephane De Greef, an expert in mine clearance in Cambodia who has worked for organizations such as Handicap International, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and several more, to learn about the significant impact landmines have had on Cambodia.
Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island is Australia’s premier island resort, a national park and secluded haven offering no less than 24 exquisite white sand beaches and access to some of the world’s most stunning dive sites. Since its inception, the resort has shown an unwavering commitment to protecting, nurturing and maintaining its harmonious relationship with the diverse eco-system and surrounding reef. In fact, Ecotourism Australia’s flagship programme launched here in 1996, introduced to ensure that best practice is adhered to when it comes to eco-tourism experiences. This hotel is perfect for travellers looking for world-class diving and snorkelling while learning all about the diverse Great Barrier Reef and the efforts to maintain it.
Six Senses Con Dao, Vietnam
Six Senses Con Dao is the epitome of barefoot luxury with its stunning beachfront property meticulously designed using sustainable materials to ensure that the island’s untouched beauty is carefully maintained. The resort is committed to improving its carbon footprint and protecting marine life, as well as supporting local communities by supplying students with clean mineral water. Six Senses Con Dao further extends its community outreach to neighbouring islands by offering swimming lessons and education on the dangers of the ocean, as well as ways to protect the environment.
Soneva Kiri, Thailand
Thailand is known for its pristine white sand beaches and crystal blue water, but Soneva Kiri takes it up a notch with its cutting-edge eco efforts. The hotel’s commitment to the environment includes moving towards the use of renewable energy, a coral restoration project, which has discovered over 69 different species of fish, as well as banning the use of plastic bottled water. The team at Soneva Kiri use only locally sourced ingredients, and also produce cheese and grow mushrooms on the hotel grounds. The exclusive beachfront, paired with its luxurious rooms and contribution to the environment, makes Soneva Kiri a must visit for those looking for a sustainable holiday, without compromising on style.
Formerly known as Nihiwatu, the exclusive luxury eco-lodge, Nihi Sumba, is one of the few resorts in the world that runs entirely on biofuel. Since its inception, Nihi Sumba has been committed to having sustainability at its core from serving produce sourced from its organic garden and protecting the island’s turtles with a hatchery, to preserving the unique local culture through the Sumba Foundation. Travellers looking for a holiday that supports local communities will be pleased to know that Nihi Sumba is 90% run by local Sumbanese, with the aim of empowering the local communities on the island.
For more information, please visit Scott Dunn’s website here or call +653158 6530