Our sustainable tourism journey is about love
At Holland Private Tours, we care about responsible tourism. Not only from an environmental, but also from an economic and social point of view. We focus on off-the-beaten path travel, where you stay away from the crowded touristic sights. And on slow travel, where you cover less distance and get a chance to immerse yourself and see more. This way we show you the best the Netherlands has to offer. We find it important to develop our business and implement more sustainability practices.
We love to show our guests the Netherlands. We love to welcome you into our very open, friendly and welcoming culture. We love our rich variety of nature.
And we are passionate about preserving this so future generations can enjoy this all in the future.
In 2022-2023, we had the opportunity to participate in the Tourban project. It’s an EU-funded project that supports tourism businesses in becoming more competitive and more sustainable. In this project, we received budget and coaching to improve our skills and capacity, so Holland Private Tours has innovated and has become more sustainable.
Curious to what we’ve done to grow sustainably? Keep on reading, and we’ll share what we have been up to last year.
Our first step was enrolling in the course “Become a better tour operator” from the Good Tourism Institute. This platform helps tour operators become better in business: more successful and more sustainable.
In this course, we have dived into all aspects of our business and completed the online workbook to put lessons learned into practice. From redefining our mission statement to new product development and better content marketing. It has helped us create focus on what is important to us and who we want to be as a business. We received practical tools to implement sustainable practices and how to show this to our customers.
Our next step was to achieve Travelife sustainability certification. Travelife for Tour Operators is a training, management and certification scheme for tour operators that work sustainably. Travelife trains tour operators on sustainability in tourism, supports them in implementing sustainability practices, and certifies them through third-party checks.
We completed the Travelife Certified assessment that consisted of 200+ sustainability criteria and were verified through a desk and on-site audit by an independent auditor. We’re very proud to share that we have achieved the highest level of Travelife certification: Travelife Certified.
An important aspect of sustainable tourism is slow travel. It’s not about how fast you walk; it is about taking your time in a destination. It allows travelers to explore and experience a city truly and fully. Intrigued by this concept, we have developed multiple slow travel tours.
We were already going off the beaten track but are now emphasizing slow travel and a true Dutch experience even more. Have a look at our new slow travel tours in Haarlem, Delft or Utrecht. In these tours, we take you into these historical cities, and you might find these day trips in one city still way too short!
“Who Travels Slow, Discovers More.”
After developing new slow travel tours and emphasizing more on the concept of sustainable tourism, the next step was to also include this in our blog. We aim to be fully transparent about our practices and also want to raise awareness about what we do!
In our blog, you can now read more about the concept of slow travel and how we apply this in Holland Private Tours, and also learn more about how you can explore the Netherlands as a responsible traveler. Through these blogs, we want to inform and activate travelers to contribute to sustainable tourism in the Netherlands.
A large aspect of sustainable tourism is of course our carbon footprint. Even though we drive with electric cars, travel almost always emits CO2. To make travelers more aware of their footprint, we created a page on our website explaining the concept of travel emissions.
This page includes background information about the carbon footprint of travel, together with practical tips for travelers to reduce their own emissions. Thereby, we’ve also added a carbon footprint calculator to our website and tips for projects where to compensate travel emissions.
Even though Holland Private Tours does not book hotels for its clients, we do often receive requests for local recommendations. Travelers looking for a comfortable hotel from where they can explore the Netherlands and also travelers looking for a unique stay.
To accommodate these requests, we have made a selection of sustainable hotels we want to recommend to our clients. In the future, we also want to enter into partnerships with Dutch accommodations, so we can offer exclusive deals.
More and more we get requests for tours in Amsterdam, often in combinations with the countryside tours Holland Private Tour is specialized in. As we love to do what we are good at, which is taking you off-the-beaten path into the countryside, we partnered with sustainable tour companies in Amsterdam.
Through the Tourban Project we got connected with great companies offering unique personal tours in Amsterdam. Holland Private Tour reached out to them, and now we can offer you their services as well. This makes your stay easier to plan and more memorable.
We’re very proud to share what we’ve been working on and also excited to think about our next steps!
There are many more sustainable practices we can implement, and we will absolutely continue working on them. Expect regular updates and full transparency in our efforts.
We look forward to showing you the Netherlands the Holland Private Tours way!
Written by: Anne de Jong – Good Tourism Institute.