Travel guide publisher Lonely Planet has this week launched over 300 sustainable and carbon-neutral tours.
In partnership with tour operator Intrepid Travel, Lonely Planet Experiences will offer globetrotters a variety of small-group tours — no more than 16 people — which are 100% carbon neutral and will be run by locals, assist local communities, and include carbon-offsetting donations in the price.
Over 200 day tours and 130 multi-day tours are on offer under the new partnership, including a New York craft cocktail tour for $89, a week-long tour of the Galapagos Islands for $1,320, a 15-day tour of Egypt for $1,645, a tasty street food tour of Seoul for $89, and an eight-day highlight of Italy tour for $1,865.
Today we're launching Lonely Planet Experiences with @Intrepid_Travel + @UrbanAdventures with 200 jam-packed day-tours and more than 130 immersive multi-day tours! Find out more: https://t.co/T3o29J2Ssr Images by @Intrepid_Travel. pic.twitter.com/VKQ23PKL6Q— Lonely Planet (@lonelyplanet) January 21, 2020
CEO of Lonely Planet Luis Cabrera said the tours aim to have as little impact on the environment as possible.
Cabrera added that the new development comes after the desire for responsible travel became increasingly apparent. In a 2019 Lonely Planet survey, 68% of the 7,500 people surveyed revealed they now think and care about responsible and sustainable travel more than they used to.
"We have a brand that really means something to people. We must be brave and bold to push ourselves into new areas and connect in a meaningful way with our audience,” Cabrera said in a press release.
The travel industry has long been regarded as one of the world’s worst carbon emitters.
A 2018 paper, published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change, assessed for the first time the real environmental impact of tourism — looking at transport, hotels, shopping, and food. The study revealed the industry is responsible for a whopping 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
CEO of Intrepid Travel James Thornton said the company, long considered a champion of environmentally-friendly travel, was “thrilled” to partner with Lonely Planet to help shift these figures and build a new era of travel that focuses on sustainability.
"Lonely Planet helped pioneer access to more authentic and grassroots experiences for independent travelers,” Thornton said at a media event in Sydney on Wednesday, according to the Guardian Australia. “That’s why we’re thrilled to be part of the next phase of its growth.”