Responsible Travel Policy
At EcoChile, our greatest purpose and commitment is to sustainability; we cannot provide the best possible experience for the client if we are not supporting and protecting the places, people, and culture that make those experiences possible. This commitment begins with ensuring that our work and mission aligns with everyone we work with: our team, suppliers, clients, and tourism companies throughout the world.
To that aim, we are also constantly improving our trips’ operations, creating better relationships with the suppliers we work with, and ensuring that ethics codes are met. Over the past few years, we’ve also committed to personally visiting all of the destinations we offer in order to get to know all of our stakeholders personally. This has allowed us to learn more about best practices and be able to suggest and share experiences with like-minded travelers.
Inspire local experiences
BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)
Become the lead tour operator in social and environmental responsibility.
1. Be professional, but keep it fun.
2. Seek growth and profit with authenticity.
3. Encourage recognition and personal development.
4. Establish a personal connection with the client’s experience.
5. Make a habit of creating solutions in the moment.
Our main purpose is to inspire local experiences; therefore, our trip specialists work together with the local suppliers to design experiences that work with local people and businesses in our destinations. We do this via a constant strong research effort, belonging to a special network of local suppliers that are striving to make real change, and most importantly, visiting the destinations ourselves to ensure that the services we offer are aligned with our values.
For us, it is fundamental that our partners support the local, regional economies and communities of our destinations, such as, in the case of local tour operators, employing local guides and drivers. This also applies to hotels, which should similarly employ the local community without any type of discrimination. Both activities and accommodations should include food that is obtained locally, encouraging local producers to supply their operations.
Additionally, we adhere to the principles of fair trade and share them with our customers at the time of booking.
Working together with our partners and local suppliers, our team is committed to designing smart, responsible, and sustainable itineraries that are similarly beneficial for the destination and the client. Some of the ways we achieve this include offering small group activities that operate on different schedules to avoid crowds (e.g. visiting popular tourist attractions outside of peak time), reducing the impact on local people and wildlife through small-group travel, and refusing to promote/condoning any activities that feature captive animals. Our itineraries are also designed to reduce the use of planes to get to places that are easily accessible by land.
Furthermore, we have eliminated single-use plastics from our operations, encouraging guests to bring reusable bottles and working with our suppliers around the country to ensure that purified water is available at all hotels and on our tours. Recycling programs are also being implemented.
Our selected partners and direct operations must include the consensual participation and support of local communities, ensuring that they are willing and open to sharing their lifestyles and cultures with visitors, and supporting local communities further by employing locals for tours and at the accommodation options.
We prefer activities that provide and include informative talks from the guides on environmental projects and challenges, as well as lectures about Leave No Trace practices and other educational initiatives on minimizing environmental damage. Since March 2023, we have also pledged to donate a tree to Fundación Reforestemos with every trip booked with us. These efforts contribute to the important reforestation of native tree life in Chile. You can see our virtual forest here.
Finally, we adhere to the code of conduct for responsible tourism and share it with clients at the time of booking.
We believe that travel is a tool that connects people of different realities that otherwise wouldn’t have had a chance to meet. For this reason, we feel a strong responsibility to make these encounters as authentic, educational, and transformative as possible. On one side, it opens up the minds of visitors who are able to put themselves in a stranger’s shoes for a while, and on the other side, it allows local communities to share their way of life with outsiders, expressing real-world stories about their lives, struggles, and triumphs.
Thus, we create itineraries and experiences based not only on the attractions but also the people and societies involved along the journey. Our trips feature local guides who provide real context about the communities travelers are visiting and educate them on the culture, history, and lifestyle of the destination. We also promote local artisan traditions and trades, visiting projects like weavers and the Coyo community in the Atacama desert and artisan villages in the Lake District and Chiloe, raising awareness of these cultural and artistic traditions and giving visitors the opportunity to purchase souvenirs that will direct benefit the community.