As a pioneer in responsible adventure travel to Albania, Zbulo’s missions is to create human-powered adventures that make the pristine nature and culture of the Western Balkans sustainably and authentically accessible, for both the benefit of local communities and travelers alike.
Eco-Tourism – Responsible, Sustainable, Environment Friendly
Why it matters
What we do, what you can do
CO2 Compensation & Offsets
Think Global, Act Local
Responsible + Sustainable + Environment Friendly = Eco-Tourism?
“Loved to death. These days it’s a phrase that more and more travel possibilities get tarnished with.
We scratch our heads and wonder just when Bali’s Kuta or India’s Goa morphed from quiet surfer escapes or laid back hippy hangouts into international resorts of wall to wall shops, restaurants and package hotels.
Cities the world over worry about how they’re going to cope with ever increasing flows of tourists.”
Lonely Planet, Travel Guide Books
Why it matters
Tourism is the world’s fastest growing and biggest industry, accounting for 1/12th of jobs and 9% of the world GDP. In 2012 the world saw, for the first time, 1 Billion international tourists, the majority of them originating from only 20, mostly western, countries.
How to be a responsible traveler?
The reality is that today almost every place on the planet is in a tourists reach, exposing fragile environments and cultures to the, hopefully, responsible traveler.
[simple_box]To assist you in becoming a responsible traveler we recommend two very helpful resources.
The UNEP’s green passport outlines on 56 pages simple ways to make tourism a more sustainable activity (highly recommended).
You can also download in several languages, find the English version here.
13 brief but nonetheless ultra helpful tips regarding the social factor of traveling or on how become a ethical traveler[/simple_box]
Simply be aware, that the choices we make while being away, will have an impact. Our activities shall not upset or destroy the cultures and environments we visit, but instead sustain these wonders of our planet so that future generations can enjoy the same life-changing adventures we enjoy. Local people, their culture and economy, as well as the environment should benefit from our actions.
To act responsible one should follow at least these core principles:
- Buy local
- Respect local culture
- Save energy
- Protect heritage
How to become an eco-tourist?
What defines this kind of traveling ? What measures do we take? How can you support it?
Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.”
– TIES (1990)
Conservation: Through economic incentives we help to conserve and protect natural and cultural heritage. In addition we try to minimize our impact, mainly by reducing waste and compensating for <a href=”#co2-offset”>CO² emissions</a>, but also by reusing or recycling materials and watching our diet.
“Humanity is currently using the renewable resources of 1.5 Earths to meet our yearly demands for energy, food, shelter, and the things we do and buy.” – WWF
[simple_box]The WWF compiled an extensive guide on how do reduce your footprint. Topics range from being energy efficient, saving water and paper to making better travel choices.[/simple_box]
Community: By creating employment opportunities we empower local communities, fight poverty and hope to achieve sustainable development. Not only do we hope to provide you with a positive experience but also all stakeholders involved.
Interpretation: Our emphasis lies on the creation of a rich personal experience for our guests by raising awareness, understanding, respect and appreciation for local nature, culture and society through interpretation.
Joining one of our tours you will use public transport, mostly stay and eat in small family-run outfits and have the chance to meet local people and foster cross-cultural understanding through reasonably sized groups. In the meantime we spread the word of sustainable tourism wherever possible and, by evaluating each of our trips, take care to ensure compliance with the code of conduct outlined here.
Not only the locals benefit from taking these small steps, but also our traveler’s whole trip experience changes as they really get to know their culture first hand!
CO² Compensation / Carbon offsets
“Reduce what you can, Offset what you can’t!”
Carbon offsets are quantified and sold in metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO²). Buying one tonne of carbon offsets means there will be one less tonne of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there would otherwise have been. This could be, for example, a project to swap coal-fired power stations with solar panels or hydro power. Carbon offsetting is often the fastest way to achieve the deepest reductions within businesses and it also often delivers added benefits at the project site, such as employment opportunities, community development programmes and training and education. (source CarbonNeutral)
Even though aviation isn’t the largest, it is the fastest growing source for greenhouse-gas emissions.
That’s why we recommend you to offset your flight’s emission via one of our partners.
In addition we donate 3€ for each of our guests to compensate emissions related to transport and accommodation during your trip.
BOX: What you can do – become CO² neutral and compensate emissions at home, too!
The three best rated European offset providers for flight emissions are:
You can find an extensive directory of carbon offset providers listed in the ENDS guide.
The guide allows you for example to sort for locations or project types. Most focus on green / renewable energies and energy efficiency, reforestation or protection of forests, biodiversity and water management.
Another approach is taken by ClimaKind and The Compensators. They buy emission certificates off the market and cancel them, so that they can never be used to emit greenhouse gases.
A third option is provided by Conservation International. You can help their effort to protect both land and maritime areas through conservation, by symbolically buying an acre of forest or square mile of ocean.
Think Global – Act Local!
“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.”
– Benjamin Disraeli, former British Prime Minister
We’re travellers, just as you are. We went around the world and experienced first-hand how tourism works and which impacts the different forms of tourism can have on local communities. These experiences created and shaped our very own vision of a sustainable and responsible eco-tourism.
“You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.”
– William Hazlitt, Philosopher
We enjoy both the international perspectives and the local understanding. By living in Albania we got to know the local culture and reflect on it from our own cultural backgrounds, hence we’re able to highlight and interpret, better as anyone else, the differences you will encounter and be curious about.
We endorse the principles of:
Leave No Trace
LNT outdoor ethics are built on seven principles:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Travel responsibly. Respect the rights of others. Educate yourself. Avoid sensitive areas. Do your part.
International Institute for Peace through Tourism
Is a not for profit organization dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives which contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, the preservation of heritage, and through these initiatives, helping to bring about a peaceful and sustainable world.
Their core belief is that every traveler functions as a potentially “Ambassador for Peace”.
After achieving TourCert’s CSR-ready in 2014, Zbulo has started working with Travelife towards achieving the international sustainability standards outset by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and accreditation as a tour operators in 2023. Travelife is a three-staged certification program:
- Travelife Engaged: Our current stage, working towards becoming a Travelife Partner
- Travelife Partner
- Travelife Certified
Sustainability Report 2022
Click to open and read our sustainability report
Click to open and read our sustainability policy