Terms like conscious, sustainable and regenerative travel are entering the common vernacular – so what does this mean?
For Amanda Ho, the co-founder and brand director of online booking platform Regenerative Travel, it’s a new era of travel that is more immersive and mindful, with a focus on social and environmental responsibility. Giving travellers a tool to discover destinations that align with their values was the reason she launched Regenerative Travel with David Leventhal in 2019.
Think of it like any other hotel booking platform – booking.com, Trivago, Expedia, Mr & Mrs Smith – but with one key difference: these hotels have been curated based on their regenerative, sustainable and ethical commitments. To be listed as one of the platform’s Regenerative Resorts, the accommodation must meet credentials covering place, inclusivity, ethical operation and respect for local and global ecosystems.
“When we assess the standards of a hotel and evaluate a property before they join the platform, we look at a range of criteria,” Ho explains.
As we have become more aware of how many communities rely on tourism, we want to book holidays with environmental and social stewardship in mind. But, as Ho says, it shouldn’t fall on the consumer to have to sift through and make difficult decisions about sustainable accommodation. “Part of why we exist is to make it easier for consumers to find these types of properties and make informed decisions,” she says.
Is the world ready for a regenerative travel shift? Ho believes so.
For the traveller who still wants a luxurious experience or a holiday to unwind, a regenerative mindset doesn’t have to compromise on comfort. Rather, if you use Regenerative Travel’s services, you can find excellent accommodation that inadvertently has a strong environmental and social commitment. One hilltop property in Jamaica grows local produce and practises sustainable agricultural methods. A semi-permanent luxury camp in Zimbabwe contributes to the African Bush Camp Foundation’s efforts, prioritising conservation, education and community empowerment. Another “bio” hotel in Colombia features a luxurious “passive architecture” design with practices that support natural surroundings.
With such an expansive list of regenerative resorts and destinations on her radar, it’s hard for Ho to single out a favourite. Instead, she offers a memorable trip to Fogo Island, the largest offshore island in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. “I visited Fogo Island a couple of years ago and stayed at Fogo Island Inn which has recently become a member with Regenerative Travel.
“The Inn is essentially a 100 per cent community-owned asset so everything they do is driven by the community and striving to minimise the impact on the surrounding environment.” The opportunity to discover places like Fogo Island Inn is essentially what Regenerative Travel aim to offer, a platform where, as their tagline states, your vacation meets your values wherever you travel.