Our Sustainability + Authenticity Pledge

We understand the socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental impacts of all destinations, accommodations, transportation, and experiences we partner with. We use the GSTC Criteria as a guide when selecting and working with our partners worldwide. Create Joy has principles and actions in place to emphasize sustainability and authenticity in travel.

Our goal is always to support local economies, identities, and values.

Create Joy’s Top Actions for Sustainable + Authentic Travel

  • Thanks to our knowledge of the GSTC Sustainable Tourism Criteria, we plan travel experiences and people plus planet opportunities with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Goals always in mind.
  • We understand tourism’s effects on a community and aim to avoid seasons, destinations, and attractions that suffer from over-tourism. Instead, when coaching, designing, and planning, we encourage traveling, when possible, during the shoulder or off seasons. You can discover a place’s true beauty and community during these times.
  • All experiences we plan involving wildlife are only booked through highly vetted Create Joy partners to ensure animals are protected, the wildlife and their habitats are disturbed minimally or not at all during the tour or experience, and that the experience puts wildlife conservation first, complying with existing local, national, and international regulations and guidelines involving wildlife interactions.
  • The partner or company providing transportation, accommodation, and other hospitality services utilize environmentally and socioeconomically efficient procedures and contributes to the local economy.
  • We look for authentic conservation and offsetting practices, not greenwashing efforts.
  • All experiences utilize local guides that are knowledgeable in regulation, practice, and guidance for touring and experiencing a cultural site or indigenous community. 
  • We look at the impact of volunteer opportunities on the local economy, community, and culture, and also the matching criteria of the traveler’s qualifications, the program’s requirements and training, and the program host and itinerary.

Today, travel has been turned into a commodity, allowing us to consume without thought, and return from our experience feeling dissatisfied, empty, or as chaotic as before. It is easy to travel without mindfulness or care, and it can be done with disregard for destinations and others. That is why supporting and promoting sustainable travel is so pivotal to what we stand for at Create Joy. Sustainable travel is not only a holistic approach that leads to impactful experiences, it helps us to put aside grand expectations, claims, and entitlement, and gain a perspective that is more compassionate, empathetic, and authentic.

To remain conscientious of our sustainability values and the authenticity of our travel experiences

We Do Not:

  • Book All-inclusive Deals and Resorts unless the all-inclusive program or resort is aligned with a goal and upholds eco-certified accommodations, food and beverage practices, and activities, benefiting the local economy.
  • Book large cruise ship experiences. We do not eliminate the small cruising boats as partners but ensure that they meet our standards for eco-friendly transportation in all practices, from waste disposal and food and beverage to power and pollution.
  • Send travelers to Tourist Traps. We coach and book experiences, landmarks, restaurants, and accommodations that have been heavily vetted for authenticity and value that do not promote further purchases of goods and services while conducting business.
  • Book High Season Travel unless necessary to accomplish a goal or experience.
  • Plan Wildlife encounters that put animals at risk. When booking any experience that may involve wildlife, we automatically rule out any accommodations, tour operators, and experiences that:
    • do not have expert local guides,
    • can not communicate how their practice aligns with us on the existing local, national, and international wildlife regulations
    • do not have guidelines in place for interacting with wildlife
    • can not educate travelers on conservation and wildlife preservation efforts
  • Book large group multi-day tours. We believe that group tours can be impactful for one’s personal growth, but Create Joy travelers are the leaders of the journey. We book eco-friendly small group tours that aid in a goal or experience.
  • Send travelers to Captive Animal Facilities or Experiences. Understanding wildlife goes far beyond just looking at an animal. It is understanding their environment, their survival, and their ecosystem. True conservation facilities rely on these elements, whereas captivity facilities do not. When looking at booking wildlife experiences, we ensure that the facilities lean on the environment, ecosystem, and protection of wildlife and not their captivity and human-focused activities.
  • Book experiences that do not benefit the local economy. Destinations and experiences located in tourism-focused countries and environments can have many options for experiences. We look at the accommodation, tour operators, and experience hosts, owners, and staff, ensuring a local-local experience, meaning that all elements of that business lean on boosting the local economy.
  • Market the Image and Not the Reality. We know that the images we see can be deceiving. We focus on the reality of the experiences, accommodations, transport, and all travel elements. Travel can be beautiful but challenging, exhilarating but exhausting, convenient but crowded, and we coach and book travel with these things in mind, preparing our travelers for all aspects of a travel experience, not just the image they see but the experience they will have.
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