Responsible travel - The STA Travel approach
In 2011 we signed up with Sustainable Travel International - a non-profit organisation helping travel providers to support environmental conservation and protect cultural heritage - to take part in their rigorous Eco-Certification Programme. Endorsed by the United Nations’ Global Sustainable Tourism Council, the holistic programme tracks the good stuff we’ve done so far, examines our environmental footprint, and highlights the gaps we must fill in order to gain the highest accreditation by 2015.
Our goal is to earn the full five-stars by 2015, and we’ll be audited by an external body along the way. No excuses. No shortcuts.
Top 10 tips for volunteering
• Think about why you want to volunteer, what you want to achieve and how long you can volunteer for
• Exhibit enthusiasm and willingness
• Arm yourself with a positive attitude – your experience will be an enriching and fulfilling one
• Have patience and determination – what you offer is recognised, appreciated and needed
• Be open-minded – the more you put into the project the more you will get out of it
• Ask what has been achieved by other volunteers and how much of the fee goes to the project(s)
• Be sensitive to the culture in which you are visiting and be aware of ecosystem fragility
• Be committed and follow the rules of the project
• Try to ensure that your stay brings benefits to the wider community
• Be prepared for hard work!
Why pay to volunteer?
Handing over your hard-earned cash in return for life changing volunteer work might not make much sense to you, so let us make things a little clearer…
Keeping you safe in some pretty challenging environments doesn’t come cheap. You need support and guidance wherever you are in the world and our projects ensure you have this. Each volunteer project requires materials, equipment, personnel and training and in some cases, includes food costs. Some projects can take years to set up carefully, especially those in very remote and poor communities. A significant donation to the project is included in the price which provides vital income to the local community, so you can be sure that the time and money you invest volunteering is well spent and will make a sustainable difference.
Volunteering abroad is all about making a greater commitment towards the project you are visiting. By volunteering, you are making a positive difference to the lives of others on a much more intimate level, by donating your time, energy and experience. All of our projects have the central goal of helping local people achieve a sustainable way of life in an environmentally sensitive manner as well as assisting conservation and community programs worldwide.
Voluntours are a way to learn about the places you're visiting on a much deeper level than a normal adventure tour. It is a way to give back to the community or find a way to make a positive impact through your travels. Our Voluntours provide opportunities for travellers to engage in community projects that are working in health, education, conservation and small business opportunities around the world.