Sustainable traveling with Yared Tour & Travel
Yared Tour & Travel is an Ethiopian / Dutch Tour operator with a vision for responsible community tourism, that drives everything we do. We work closely with local people to develop sustainable tourism in Ethiopia. We are specialised in responsible travel and community tourism in Ethiopia. For us, responsible travel is about seeking ways to reduce the negative and increase the positive impacts that our tours have on social and natural environments. It’s about trying to keep the footprint of our journeys as small as possible, being conscientious about how we utilise energy, water and managing waste to ensure best environmental practice in-the-field and in our offices. We place a big emphasis on supporting local communities in Ethiopia and seek ways to create positive visitor economies which consider the needs of local people, such as developing community tourism in rural areas with marginalised groups.
We are committed to creating travel experiences which are authentic, respectful, rewarding and meaningful whilst supporting and caring for local communities and environments. We ask that our guests come with an open-mind. Travelling to Ethiopia and visiting local communities comes with difficulties- at times a lack of infrastructure, accommodation that might not always meet your standard, and the risk that not everything on your itinerary will go to plan. Travelling with Yared Tour & Travel helps to ensure that potential issues are already taken care of. We provide you with full info pack about Ethiopia pre-arrival to help prepare you but here are some suggestions of ways to maximise your positive impact whilst travelling as a guest in Ethiopia.
Below you can read our sustainability policy paper. We would like to inform and inspire our travellers with this vision, while working on sustainable tourism in Ethiopia.
Our vision on sustainable tourism in Ethiopia contains the fact that it is very important for all stakeholders to continuously work on sustainability in products, communities, suppliers, clients and full tourism chains. This will contribute to several Sustainable Development Goals for Ethiopia. With our company we aim to create a more sustainable, innovative, inclusive and healthier tourism industry in Ethiopia through community-based tourism, fair chains and environmental measures in the tourism sector. Our core business model is organising tailor-made and specialist tours in Ethiopia for travellers (B2C) and international tour operators (B2B). Because we are a real sustainable tour operator, we develop community tourism initiatives in local destinations in Ethiopia & surrounding countries. These are experiential and educational, cultural and nature-based tours and treks with basic eco-friendly tourism facilities. The local communities we work with are economically vulnerable and live in chronically food insecure rural regions of Ethiopia. We help our partner communities to find simple solutions to local challenges which also makes tourism more sustainable, resilient, and healthy. Local project areas include: hygiene and sanitation, small-scale permaculture and waste management, digitalisation, basic business and income generation training. We use community-tourism as a tool for genuine grassroots development at the village level and create jobs for young people and women through tourism.
In short we like to explain in which way we work on multiple aspects of sustainable tourism. We prefer to use the United Nation's 5 P model: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnerships. The 5 Ps highlight the intertwined framework of sustainable development, instead of a group of siloed goals. Progress on one P must balance and support progress on another. Below you find our explanation per aspect.
Our main focus lies on people's development through tourism. We aim to achieve this by working on providing opportunities for direct income generation, which then could lead to an improvement of the current situation. This can indirectly be linked to prosperity.
Planet is a very important aspect to us, however we realise that flying for tourism harms our planet. Therefore, we focus on local activities for sustainable value chains, less plastic, less waste, more organic agriculture and better management of national parks in our environmental policy.
We believe we need to build a strong organisation for Yared's future and for the future of the people in the communities. Therefore, we aim to provide trainings and education to increase local knowledge and help with starting income generating, sustainable activities in tourism and other sectors.
Our vision on sustainable tourism is that when we organise a good balance amoung al other 4 P's, we can contribute to more peace in a region. In order to achieve this, cooperation, equalness and fair shares are essential.
Strong and long lasting partnerships are highly important to us. Besides our partners in tourism, we build a strong network with local leaders, NGO's and other companies to help us achieve our sustainability goals.
Sustainable Development Goals
For all our projects and business decisions, we take the sustainable development goals of the UNWTO into consideration. There are eight goals which we link with. 1. No Poverty 3. Good Health & Well-Being 5. Gender Equality 6. Clean Water & Sanitation 7. Affordable & Clean Energy 8. Decent Work & Economic Growth 9. Innovation & Infrastructure 17. Partnerships for the Goals
Sustainable Customer Journey
Our sustainable customer journey shows our policy in every step. It consists of these important steps. Step 1: Find us! We run our website through natural hosting and we search via Ecosia. Step 2: Book your dream trip We try to select the most sustainable options for our customers. You can travel more by car instead of by plane. We offer many activities by foot. We offer many local trekkings and stays. We select local and sustainable accommodations for our customers. Step 3: Prepare We provide all our travellers with extra sustainable travel tips, in order for them to prepare as best as possible. Step 4: Travel sustainable During the trip, we use as less plastic as possible, as well as conscious and respectful behavior towards locals. Step 5: Treat locals with respect We encourage our travellers to talk with locals, our local guides act as intermediary for tourists and local people. We try to employ as many locals in tourism activities as possible. Step 6: Leave footprints, no trash We have a no plastic policy and we encourage our travellers to not leave trash anywhere. We clean this. Step 7: Leave with positive impact We work hard to leave a large part of the travel sum with local communities, however we encourage our travellers to do the same.
Yared's Community Based Tourism
Yared Tour & Travel's vision on tourism is that it should benefit to the local, rural communities. For that reason Community Based Tourism (CBT) is very important in our organisation. We love to explain why. Tourism is one of the main industries in many developing countries, including Ethiopia. It has the potential to bring benefits to local people through employment and income opportunities. Community-based and eco-tourism business initiatives are the best examples. Our definition of community based tourism (CBT) is: tourism in which local residents (often rural, poor and economically marginalised) invite tourists to visit their communities, best is with the provision of overnight accommodation. Residents earn income as land managers, entrepreneurs, service & produce providers, and employees. Currently these CBT initiatives predominantly exist around touristic highlights, although they could be very interesting in less travelled regions. Tourism in these rural regions could solve the problem of over tourism in other places and could bring more economic growth to indigenous communities. That is why we have created our own projects with communities and intensified these since 2019.
Yared's Community Projects
The concept for community projects we developed in 2019 is creating healthy, economically resilient and sustainable communities in rural indigenous areas. We have created and launched new community-based tourism products in partnership with rural and indigenous peoples in Ethiopia which meet the demand from world travellers to visit areas of natural beauty and to learn about different cultures whilst travelling responsibly and having a positive impact on the host community. During Covid-19 times, we aim to continue supporting our rural disadvantaged community partners and solve local challenges cross-sector through taking a holistic approach to community development incorporating a range of inter-linked projects related to tourism such as income diversification, skills development, environmental awareness, sustainable energy and community disease prevention for example. Besides, our teams are embedded within partner communities to enable a deep, dynamic and ongoing understanding of culture, challenges and opportunities. All communities we work with live in rural and impoverished parts the world which uniquely places us to drive solutions to mitigate covid-19 impacts on tourism at grassroots level.
Yared's CBT Concept
In order to solve local challenges cross-sector, we are taking a holistic approach to community development, incorporating a range of inter-linked projects related to tourism such as income diversification, skills development, environmental awareness, sustainable energy and community disease prevention. We developed a full programme in which we work on the following aspects: We start with creating the necessary partnerships and build strong relations. After receiving local interest and ownership, we continue. Besides activities in tourism, we ask the communities for their needs. Depending on the needs, we train people in different skills and activities. Together with local people we construct eco-toilets, tippy taps and camping platforms. We create decent jobs in tourism, like guides, cooks, hosts. We work further on creating more jobs and prevent communities to become dependent on just one sector, like tourism. We keep measuring achievements. And stay in dialogue with the people about further needs and improvements. Between 2017 and 2021 we already realised many projects (see right column), with several communities. Unfortunately due to Covid-19 the impact through tourism is very low. Therefore we started with organising more training for other income generating activities.
At Yared Tour & Travel we use reusable water bottles. This is a way in which we reduce waste. Furthermore, We select our accommodations specifically on their rate of sustainability. It is important that all our accommodations have certain standards on environmental sustainability. For example, the accommodation is aware of using less electricity. Besides, we aim to support a more organic argiculture. When it comes to National Parks, it is important that we support a better management of them, in order for the traveler not to disturb the natural habitat. Besides, we use natural resources with measure. Meaning that we make concious decisions when selecting activities such as a visits to National Parks. When visiting sites, we strongly urge both our travellers and employees not to leave any waste on the site. In this sense we leave nothing more but footprints. With the end goal being not to disturb the flora and fauna the is visited at that moment.