Better Places, a social enterprise in responsible travel that launched in The Netherlands in 2014, followed by Germany in 2016 (operating as Fairaway), is now available to English-speaking travelers around the globe as Better Places Travel. The initial destination roll-out includes: Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Madagascar, Namibia, Nepal, Peru, South Africa, Suriname, and Vietnam.
Better Places Travel was named most sustainable travel brand out of all 28 measured by Rank a Brand, the largest European comparison site for sustainability and social responsibility of consumer brands. They offer 100% tailor-made travel experiences that conserve each destination’s natural heritage, respect socio-cultural authenticity, and positively impact local communities in accordance with the UN’s recommendations for sustainable tourism.
Travelers work with local experts, who are expatriates living in the country or locals with extensive tourism experience, to design their own, unique trip that includes small-scale accommodations (e.g. ecolodges and homestays), in-country transportation, and excursions with local guides.
“As an organization we are Travelife certified, and we only work with local partners who operate responsibly,” says co-founder Saskia Griep. “We also offset all carbon emissions at our expense, investing that money in more efficient cooking stoves in Ghana. Our goal is to provide locally-focused travel experiences that put as little strain on the environment as possible.”
Better Places Travel has also partnered with Dopper whose mission is to reduce single-use plastic and provide everyone with access to clean drinking water. All 2018 bookings will include a Dopper bottle, compliments of Better Places Travel, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Simavi Foundation: a health organization working to improve drinking water conditions in some of the world’s poorest countries. Better Places Travel is also working with their local partners to set up refill stations for travelers in areas where tap water is unsafe.
“With the growth we’ve seen in The Netherlands and Germany in such a short time period, we wanted to bring Better Places to a wider international audience,” says marketing manager Marcela Rilovic. “Our expansion into the English-speaking markets will enable more travelers to visit countries responsibly—as travelers, not just as tourists.”