By James Harris
For many modern-day travellers, getting caught up in the care-free hedonism of globetrotting can often have an unintentionally negative impact on the natural environments and local communities we visit for leisure and leave behind.
The rapid growth of the travel industry has resulted in ‘overtourism’ – a relatively new term coined from pushing the limits of the world’s most breathtaking locations that have become popular for obvious reasons. Maya Bay in Thailand, made famous by Danny Boyle’s 2000 blockbuster ‘The Beach’, is a renowned example of sea pollution caused by constant crowds. Another example is the uniquely charming Venice in Italy – a city many citizens have abandoned due to the bombardment of cruise ships that also contribute to the rising water levels and erosion of its landmarks.
Alas, sustainable travel that provides an authentic and mutually beneficial experience for both visitors and natives is slowly coming to the forefront of people’s travel itineraries – well, for those who dare to go off the beaten track. This is where GoKo’s brains and brawn can make your adventures unforgettably guilt-free in every corner of the world.
We support the notion that responsible and environmentally mindful travelling is a crucial basis for our future adventures – and here are 5 reasons why it’s worth your time to find out what it’s all about and what GoKo does to try and change outdated attitudes:
It’s no secret that leading travel agencies utilise huge marketing budgets to win customers over with their familiar branding and feel-good TV ads – and they often deliver. But that delivery is usually unsustainable holiday hotspot packages to places that are already swarming with tourists – tourists who have no real desire to experience any local cultures or traditions unless it’s in the top 10 things to do on TripAdvisor.
Our solution: GoKo proudly presents only the very best bespoke tours that are complemented by handpicked tour guides who really bring their homeland to life through passionate knowledge and storytelling.
Climate change is no joke
Even though we may not see the extreme impacts of it in our lifetime, climate change and the extraordinary chain reaction it has throughout the world’s natural habitats and ecosystems is very real and the most current global emergency we’re ever likely to face that we have some control over. The Covid-19 pandemic has somewhat swept the global warming crisis under the rug, but it’s on our shoulders to collectively minimise the damage we’re doing to the planet so we can give future generations the best shot at a hopeful future. This starts with small personal choices and sacrifices – like how we choose to travel.
Our solution: GoKo looks carefully at each trip route and asks how we can lower our emissions when getting from A to B without fuel-burning transport. This means your carbon footprint is consciously considered and covered by us. What’s more, with the help of the incredible World Land Trust, GoKo Travels has agreed to take part in a 3-step carbon offset scheme to calculate and neutralise our holiday footprints, allowing you to travel guilt free, at no added cost. This covers every step of the journey where you travel with us, from international flights to hotel heating, transport, food and more.
Ecotourism requires a selfless and open-minded approach to seeing wonderful places – but this doesn’t mean quality and comfort have to be sacrificed to achieve this. The words ‘basic accommodation’ has negative, fearful connotations – and we understand why. Who hasn’t had a less than ideal experience in a foreign hotel?
Our solution: From stylish hostels to ecolodges, where innovative architecture and environmental integration are upheld values, GoKo carefully sources accommodation that we’d hand-on-heart be happy to stay in ourselves – we’re picky and we like to be picky!
A Sustainable Holiday With GoKo Travels:
Images of unspoiled terrain and the wild animals who inhabit them are a big source of inspiration for many travellers – the idea of immersing ourselves in such vibrant landscapes is enough for anyone to jump online and book a flight to a faraway land. However, ruthless deforestation (for palm oil and soya bean production) and poaching can often seem like lucrative last resorts for struggling economies – but they also negatively affect the dying species who call these places home and the absorption of harmful carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.
Our solution: As part of our commitment to preserving planet earth, we donate 3% of our profits to GoKo Travel’s registered non-for-profit, “The GoKo Earth Preservation“.
The GoKo Earth Preservation has been set up to protect and preserve the natural habitats of our planet and to conserve and enhance the biodiversity of threatened environments and endangered species around the globe. This is achieved through rewilding, reforestation and marine conservation projects, alongside local community support.
And lastly, you’ll feel different
It may sound like an eye roll-worthy cliché – but travel really does have the power to kill toxic habits, change your perspective and help you reflect on areas of your life that may require a new approach. Breathing space away from the real world is sometimes the welcome antidote we need to and gives our minds a break. This can be achieved by meeting real people in real circumstances – people who have never had the Westernised privileges and luxuries we are so used to and often take for granted. Without even knowing it’s happened, we come back to our everyday routines altered in some way – and it’s not always easy to explain how or why, but it’s always worth the journey.