Journeys' Ecotourism Code of Ethics

What is Ecotourism?

In the 1970s, the norm for Himalayan travel was the grand expedition with foreign leaders and imported comforts. Local Resources were being consumed, and locals weren't benfitting. We wanted to do things differently.

From the beginning we committed to small groups and locally purchased supplies. We put our trust in carefully selected indigenous leadership. We contributed to environmental and cultural conservation. This was eco-tourism before the term even existed. Fortunately, it caught on.

Journeys International has specialized in ecotourism since 1978. We offer you the best nature tours, safaris, treks, adventure travel, family and cultural trips on earth. Whether you call it an eco vacation, adventure travel, ecotravel, ecotour, sustainable travel or responsible travel isn't really the issue. Rather than trying to further define the term for you, we just thought you should be aware of how we approach travel and hope that you will too. 

Journeys' Code of Ethics

Journeys’ Code of Ethics for Travelers outlines high standards of respectful, environmentally-conscientious behavior. These are our expectations for ourselves, our guides and our hosts. We invite you to adopt these principles as your own while traveling with Journeys.

Aspire to Invisibility

Observe, but do not disturb natural systems.

  • Move cautiously and quietly in natural areas.
  • Do not collect natural souvenirs.
  • Sense and emulate acceptable conversation volume and vigor. Don’t overwhelm or intimidate your hosts.
  • Observe all locally established rules and customs for conduct.


Vanish Without a Trace

Minimize your impact on the environment.

  • Remove packaging from items before leaving home.
  • Bring and use biodegradable soaps and detergents.
  • Conserve water.
  • Do not build campfires in dry or protected areas.
  • Do not distribute nondegradable, breakable gifts or items in nondegradable packaging.
  • Do not buy or consume animal or plant products harvested from unmanaged wild populations.
  • Leave no litter.

Seize the Power of Your Experience

Act directly to accomplish conservation.

  • Pick up litter left by others.
  • Do not rely on remote local markets or village food supplies to outfit your trip. You can cause inflation and food shortages.
  • Do not patronize accommodations, organizations, vendors, operators, villages, or individuals who violate environmental regulations or principles.
  • Advocate for sustainable use of the natural environments you visit.
  • Discuss conservation with local students and teachers.
  • Tell your guides and the Journeys staff about improvements we can make to positively affect nature and culture conservation.
  • Make donations to temples, schools, monasteries, parks and museums.
  • Join local conservation organizations.

Value Other Cultures

Embrace diversity. Reverse missionary zeal.

  • Learn proper local etiquette.
  • Dress neatly and conservatively in your own cultural tradition.
  • Employ local residents as guides, porters or drivers.
  • Treat them as friends, not servants. Learn the names of your local hosts and a little of their native language.
  • Listen and learn; do not preach or criticize cultural practices.
  • Purchase souvenirs from the original makers and do not drive an excessively hard bargain.
  • Evaluate requests for gifts carefully and provide a balanced view of Western material culture.
  • Determine from your guide the most culturally appropriate way to reciprocate for local hospitality.
  • Take photographs within the guidelines suggested by your guide. Make good on promises to send copies.