At LiNGER we firmly believe that in travel we can do more to help protect our planet.

We take our responsibilities to the environment, local communities, customers, suppliers, partners and employees very seriously and our intention is to constantly review our policies and strive to make improvements where we can.

We offer the opportunity to partake in a meaningful activity in an area that matters to you or where you may have a skillset.

This could be as simple as a beach clean in Sri Lanka to help protect our oceans or caring for orphaned sloths in a wildlife sanctuary in Costa Rica.

LiNGER longer on a sabbatical and devote time to teaching in a village school in Nicaragua or help with a conservation project researching plant species in the Amazon.

LiNGER and Enrich Life through Travel.

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Voluntourism

At LiNGER we firmly believe that in travel we can do more to help protect our planet.

We are proud to provide our customers with pre-trip suggestions of local services that benefit the local community such as voluntourism and community impact tourism.

We offer the opportunity to partake in a meaningful activity in an area that matters to a client or where a client may have a skillset they would like to share (eg IT, education, marketing, engineering, conservation and science).

This could be a community, conservation, environment or social activity or project.

It can also be as simple as suggestions and recommendations for locally run restaurants, guides, shops and craft markets.

Examples include:

  • caring for orphaned sloths in a wildlife sanctuary in Arenal, Costa Rica
  • a day as a marine biologist in Sabah, Borneo
  • share your business skills with micro business entrepreneurs and cottage industry pioneers in India
  • impart your IT knowledge with local schools or businesses and help them progress in Cuba
  • a beach clean in Mui Ne, Vietnam to help protect our oceans
  • a night watch for nesting turtles on Ostional Beach, Costa Rica
  • LiNGER longer on a sabbatical and devote time to teaching in a village school in Nicaragua or help with a conservation project researching plant species in the Amazon

Should you choose to include this as part of your holiday, these activities can be for a few hours or form a more significant part of your time away.

Our pre-trip planning expertise will ensure you are fully prepared for any such experience.

Contact us for inspiration…

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Philanthropy

A percentage of the profit from every trip taken with LiNGER goes to support a project in the regions in which we operate.

Close to our heart are the projects supported by the Latin America Travel Association Foundation, a non-profit organisation setup by the Latin America travel industry to help finance worthy causes throughout the region.  See: www.latafoundation.org

We are a paperless company and as such prefer not to print any documents.

For every trip which is free of any paper and printing, we donate an additional £10 per person to the causes we support.

Contact us for inspiration…

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Responsible Tourism Policy

LiNGER is a luxury tour operation with a conscience, where travellers LiNGER longer, travel responsibly, immerse themselves in the culture, act on altruistic impulses, absorb, engage, and explore.

A traveller on a LiNGER trip, is someone who appreciates private, bespoke and luxury holidays combined with meaningful, active and altruistic experiences.

We take our responsibilities to the environment, local communities, customers, suppliers, partners and employees very seriously and our intention is to constantly review our policies and strive to make improvements where we can.

This work is conducted by and ongoing by our sustainability advisor Trudi Pearce from Responsible Tourism Consulting Limited.

Our Responsible Travel policy aims to set out the ways in which we can:

  • reduce the negative and increase the positive impacts our company’s operational practices have on the social and physical environment within the areas of our operation.
  • inform and demonstrate to staff, suppliers and travellers our commitment to social and environmental best practice.
  • deconstruct existing available product and as a result differentiate our itineraries versus other operators by ‘adding value’ to create richer, deeper and meaningful travel experiences for our customers.

We are committed to screening our suppliers against responsible tourism (environmental, social and economic) before they can be considered as part of the bespoke trips we market, arrange and book on behalf of our clients. Our suppliers must be transparent in their policies for responsible travel at a company level and the services/trips they offer to LiNGER clients.

Within the destinations we operate

We sell holidays that are taking steps to actively reduce the negative impact of tourism on the local environment – this is integral to our business. Every holiday has been screened for its environmental criteria.

We provide a Good-Eco-Bag with a few meaningful gifts to take with you on your travels and use at home. These promote the concept of reuse, reduce and recycle.

Carbon reduction

Say ‘NO’ to carbon offsetting and ‘YES’ to carbon reduction.

We believe that carbon offsetting distracts us from the real and big issue, which is we should all aim to reduce our carbon emissions as much as possible in all areas of our lives, business practices and behaviours. Offsetting flights is often seen as an opportunity to continue to fly without making any consideration on how we can make better choices to ensure we have a greater positive impact on the local communities, cultures and people where we operate.

Office environmental, recycling and waste policy

We work under the principles of reduce, reuse then recycle. We are committed to continuous improvement in all areas within this policy and the education and training of all employees in environmental issues and the environmental effects of their activities.

Paper: We have invested in technology to reduce printing and paper waste. Our aim is to be a ‘paperless’ office except for essential documentation, and therefore use both sides of the paper before recycling. Printed materials are kept to a minimum as are business cards (which are made from recycled t-shirts). We only have one printer and do not photocopy.

Recycling and composting: We recycle as many materials as possible including paper, cardboard, printer cartridges, cans, plastic and tetrapaks. We also have an office compost bin for food including teabags and grounded coffee waste.  Recycling and compostable materials are collected by the local council.

Single use plastic: As a team, we’re working hard to find ways to eliminate plastics from our working life, particularly single-use plastics. We’re definitely not perfect and we’re committed to improvement. Some of the steps we are taking include replacing plastic milk cartons with glass milk bottles provided by a local supplier; using eco dishwasher tablets without plastic wrappers, buying fruit loose and plastic free from our local ethical supermarket, refilling our washing up liquid, recycling our biscuit wrappers, providing a glass water dispenser, pens are made from recycled plastic and many of us come to work with re-usable coffee cups and water bottles, as well as lunchboxes.

Transport: We encourage our staff to use public transport (rather than private vehicles) whilst on company business.  Employees are encouraged to walk, cycle or use public transport to get to work and some work from home thus reducing their carbon footprint.  We are also part of the Bike2Work Scheme, enabling employees to purchase their own bicycle tax free.  For business travel our staff are mindful of the environment and the company philosophy to ‘go slow’ and spend adequate time getting to know local suppliers so where possible we strive to deliver this.

Energy use: In our office we fit LED energy saving bulbs and our policy is to turn off (not leave on standby) PCs and other electrical items overnight or during holidays, and we turn off our computer monitors during lunch breaks and meetings.

Purchasing: We buy recycled, biodegradable and Fairtrade products, including recycled printer toners where possible and refill containers.  Old furniture and pieces of computer equipment are donated to local charities.

Suppliers: We expect high environmental standards from our suppliers where possible. We use green energy provider www.outfoxthemarket.co.uk which uses Wind Only as its source and our office cleaning company was chosen for its green principles.

Within the destinations we operate

The purpose of our business is to sell bespoke holidays and sabbaticals that have a greater positive impact on the local communities, cultures and people visited. No matter what destination we operate in, the trips we sell help to create jobs for local people, greater income for local people and minimise negative impacts on cultures.  We are committed and support inclusivity (LGBTQI) and where operationally possible products which are accessible to all.  We also require all our suppliers to provide our travellers with information that helps sensitise them to local cultures and customs and support work to prevent the exploitation of children and adults in tourism.   Where possible and necessary we will also offer support and advise to champion suppliers to implement and measure their sustainability.

We expect LiNGER staff who participate in familiarisation trips abroad to adopt our travel philosophy and become ambassadors of slow tourism to enrich life through travel on a personal and professional basis.  If necessary, we encourage whistle blowing on any local practice which compromises a reasonable code of ethics and LiNGER values.

Staff volunteering

At least once a year, as a team, we spend a day volunteering for a local cause e.g. a local conservation project working in partnership with local people.

We encourage employees to volunteer their time in the community and encourage them to approach LiNGER with ideas and opportunities for consideration.

Charity donations

Read more about our charity commitments here:

The LATA Foundation is a travel industry supported charity whose focus is carefully selected social and environmental projects in Latin America. LiNGER’s Founder Steve Wilson spent a year working on a project, where an outboard motor was purchased for a dugout canoe, to enable the remote La Mediana community in Ecuador to access medical facilities more quickly. To make the project sustainable, the goal is to receive visitors to the community and develop an eco-tourism programme, instead of deforesting their land.

LiNGER will donate £10 per traveller to causes in support of the LATA Foundation. More information on the LATA Foundation can be found here: www.latafoundation.org

Local suppliers

Given the nature of LiNGER’s core business it is not always possible to work with local suppliers.  That said we pride ourselves in our commitment to work and connect with suppliers with similar values and typically these will be small medium enterprises within the UK.

Our relationship with our employees

We are committed to creating a progressive, fun and friendly place to work by empowering staff to realise their potential and as a result become fulfilled in their role at LiNGER.   We believe that if we champion and support employees to develop alongside promoting inclusivity and equality in the workplace, this in turn will have a positive impact on our business to produce results. We offer staff flexible full-time and part-time working arrangements and we are committed to a good work/life balance for our staff.

The protection of tourism sites

LiNGER is committed to preserving tourism sites through pro-active clean-ups and small restoration projects in some of the destinations we feature. For example:

  • Sponsorship of locals and school children to conduct litter clearances of the most touristy sites in a country.
  • Restoration of a damaged footpath through funding via our in-country partners. In the office, UK

Within the destinations we operate

We are committed to ensuring our destination suppliers show evidence of employing local people and where local standards permit, make use of local and/or organic produce, manufacturers and other services.  Although we look for and make preference to suppliers who have already been awarded/adhere to external sustainability certification schemes, sometimes there are suppliers who meet our criteria for responsible tourism without the need for certification.

We regularly review our entire supply-chain to ensure sustainable consumption and this includes the evaluation of our partners to ensure we are working with businesses who have similar values and goals towards positive impact and transformation.

We commit to operating in a way that ensures that the economic benefits of tourism are fairly distributed throughout the supply chain and believe it is possible to run a tour operation profitably with principles.

We only support/promote peaceful and inclusive organisations such as https://equalityintourism.org, www.womensequality.org.uk and www.ecpat.org.uk.  We do not support/promote organisations that compromise our company values and responsible travel policy.

We recommend hotels that have an altruistic story. Hotel Sol Y Luna in the Sacred Valley of Peru is a wonderful example. In 1999, the hotel owners Petit and Franz began life in the Sacred Valley supporting education projects. To finance the projects, they decided to build a hotel as the most economically sustainable model and went on to open their own school to ensure the local children continue to receive education. Staying here is not only a magical experience in a beautiful setting but also a meaningful stay with the knowledge of the good causes the hotel is supporting. See: www.hotelsolyluna.com