the SWIMQUEST SUSTAINABILITY POLICY
At SwimQuest we take sustainable tourism seriously. Since we founded the company, we have worked hard to run tours which provide growth and prosperity to the communities involved.
We are constantly looking for ways to strengthen our connection with the environment, the communities and the economies connected to our swim locations. We believe swimming holidays can play a significant role in helping people to enjoy and appreciate our incredible oceans, rivers, lakes and landscapes. It is through this appreciation we believe we can encourage our guests to embrace a more sustainable way of living.
Our commitment to local communities:
Working with locals
Our local host families, boat pilots, cooks and helpers work closely alongside SwimQuest guides to deliver an unforgettable holiday experience for our guests. Our local partners provide an invaluable wealth of local knowledge, not only on the safety front, but also by enhancing our guest’s cultural experiences – from food, to customs and hidden-away local gems. Through years of building happy, positive relationships with our local partners, we are confident in the knowledge that our guests will receive a wonderful warm welcome.
Spreading the happiness
As most of our locations are small and remote, we make sure that our itineraries ‘spread the happiness’ meaning we take the guests to visit different businesses within the community. For example, we would arrange for evening meals to be hosted at a different local taverna each night, ensuring that the economic benefits brought about by our operation are distributed in an equitable way.
NEVER PEAK SEASON
We do not run tours during peak season. Not only is this beneficial to our guests in terms of swimming in a quieter, more tranquil location, it is also beneficial to our local hosts and tourism within the community.
OUR COMMITMENT TO The Environment:
Tourism and Climate Change
Given the recent research about the contribution of air travel to carbon dioxide emissions and the resulting effects on climate change, we are very aware that in encouraging guests to travel to our destinations this is likely to mean taking a flight. In our view, cutting out air travel completely is simply unrealistic. As tourism is the world’s single largest industry, and many of our destinations’ primary source of income, trying to put an end to air travel would have disastrous consequences. The sustainable future of many of our locations depends upon economic success through tourism. We also feel that many of the incredible ecosystems and habitats we visit have been preserved because of tourism – whether that be through UNESCO World Heritage Status such as that in Formentera, or protected Marine Parks such as those in The Bahamas or Fiji.
Nonetheless, we continue to be proactive in our attempts to create a successful and meaningful climate change strategy, and implement the following actions:
- All groups are introduced before the trips begin so that they can share transport to the swim start locations
- We provide information about public transport links to our holiday meeting points where applicable
- We strive to reduce our energy consumption both throughout our business and on tour with effective pre-tour guest briefings which include information and advice about energy consumption, lights, air conditioning, and water usage
- We aim to work in locations where tourism will deliver positive socio-economic and environmental benefits, meaning:
- We try to avoid busy, built up areas
- We work with tourist boards to get advice on where our business would be best placed
We have designed our trip operations carefully to minimize our impact on our environment. By its very nature, exploring the world via swimming – “human powered”, means our guests are not using unnecessary motorized vehicles to enjoy their holiday destination. We try to keep our transfer times as short as possible, ensuring guests spend less time travelling and more time swimming on their swim vacation.
OUR PLASTIC MISSION
We continue to be reminded of the problem of plastic in our oceans. As such, we are committed to helping reduce to amount of plastic we use on our trips. We do this by:
- Encouraging guests to bring their own reusable water bottle on tour, or purchasing one of our non-plastic reusable alternatives
- Running regular guide plastic clean up sessions in our locations
- Using locally grown produce and home-cooked food wherever available to reduce the amount of plastic food packaging bought
SwimQuest works closely with our location tourist boards to find out about local conservation efforts and how we may be able to help.
In 2019, we are supporting the Formentera Save Posindonia Project by donating enough to sponsor one of the 7,650 hectares of Posidonia that grow around Formentera per SwimQuest Formentera guest.
If you know of a conversation project relating to any of our locations which you think we should be aware of, please feel free to contact us.