Vagabond’s Sustainable Tourism Policy
Vagabond is committed to a code of best practise in all aspects of our business, including our relationship with, and affect on, the environment. Few business sectors rely on the natural environment in the way that tourism does, so it is very much in our interest to preserve the natural world. We have been constantly monitoring our business methods to make sure that our environmental impact is as low as possible
Low impact tourism:
Because our groups are small, they impact less on smaller local communities than larger mass tourism groups.
Small Local communities:
Our tours are off the beaten track, bringing valuable tourism income to some less-visited areas of Ireland. The vast majority of our suppliers are locally-owned and so any revenue we bring to the areas we visit goes straight into the local economy. For example, the accommodation suppliers, activity providers and pubs and restaurants are all owned and run locally.
Using trains to reduce our mileage:
Vagabond has replaced several longer driving journeys on our tours with train transfers on the Irish rail network. Not only does this move our passengers to and from the really scenic parts of Ireland more quickly, it also significantly cuts down our driving distances by over 1,500km per week in the main season alone. This means we have reduced our driving distances by over 25,000km per year.
The vehicles we use:
At first glance you might not think that our vehicles are very eco-friendly,but you would be mistaken! Our first vehicles were actually rebuilt (or re-cycled) military vehicles which we renovated, converted and improved with modern fuel efficient turbo diesel engines. Our more recent vehicles are brand new Land Rover Defenders, whose construction and first 45,000 miles of driving’s carbon emissions are off-set by the environmental programmes of Land Rover themselves.
It is estimated that 70% of this type of Land Rovers ever built are still on the road, and they have been built since 1948. So these are not disposable items and the effort and materials that are involved in their construction will be fully justified over their lifetime. Even when we have finished with our vehicles, they will no doubt still be on the road for many years to come in various guises.
As mentioned above, our Land Rovers use efficient 2.5l turbo diesel engines, offering us fuel consumption rates of almost 30mpg. Because these vehicles can carry up to 14 people plus luggage, they have a carbon footprint per person much less than a smart car or a rental car.
Vagabond is extremely strict as to where its vehicles can be taken off road. Any driving on beaches is done very carefully to avoid damaging dunes or other sensitive eco-systems. Other off-road routes are always along previously man-made tracks and never across un-broken virgin land. Local consent and advice are always obtained before driving off road.
Reducing Paper consumption:
For several years now Vagabond has been reducing its paper consumption in various ways:
- Not printing Brochures: No Vagabond brochure has been printed since 2006, thus saving paper resources and money. Not only does this have environmental benefits but it means that we were able to invest more effectively in other marketing media.
- Email: All Vagabond customer correspondence and booking confirmations are sent by email.
- Office Paper: All vagabond office paper is carefully recycled. Also all credit card payments are now processed online, again reducing the need for paper credit card rolls.
Below is a list of useful websites that provide information on Ireland’s History and Natural Environment:
The Travelling Birder
If you would like information on the type of birds you can expect to see in Ireland, and would like to find out what past visitors saw then check out this website. Membership is free and you can receive reports and updates from all over the world. Website: www.travellingbirder.com