The following are Big Planet Adventures' key principles for operating its tours and business in an environmentally and socially responsible way in Cuba.
In essence, we believe that sustainable, sensitive tourism plays an invaluable role in helping to develop communities and preserve the environment. As a responsible tour operator, we vow to work hard to ensure that our operation will benefit the host communities, local and national economies, and will have a minimal impact on the natural environment.
We adhere to the guidelines set out by the UNWTO - World Committee on Tourism Ethics and follow its Global code of ethics. See the UNWTO brochure on being a 'responsible tourist and traveler'.
Big Planet Adventures is proud to have been short listed for the Responsible Tourism Awards in 2009, and to actively support the WTM World Responsible Tourism Day 2014.
Our tourism aims include
We encourage travellers to
- Fly less and stay longer.
- Consider that Whale and Dolphin shows encourage the illegal capture of these animals from the wild to sell to these shows for human entertainment.
- Reduce the carbon footprint wherever possible in every day life to help minimise climate change.
- Avoid resorts and support locally owned guest houses and homestays.
- Support Community Based Tourism Initiatives. These assist locals to benefit from, and control, the tourism that occurs in their area.
- Go paperless - use online resources to plan and book your trip, and then, when necessary, print out maps and other materials at home on recycled paper.
- Respect people's privacy while taking photographs. Ask for prior permission before taking a photograph.
- Not remove native flora and fauna, whether in the forms of seeds, cuttings, roots, dried shells, or coral.
- Seek out and support locally owned businesses, to ensure maximum community benefit from your spending.
- Respect native marine life such as star fish, turtles, coral & dolphins and be aware of the depletion of lobster populations from over fishing in the Caribbean.
- Carefully choose activities that are animal friendly and do not encourage or support mistreatment of animals.
- Encourage others to become responsible travelers.