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About us
Supporting local communities

local communities

local communities

Making positive impacts that last

The buzzing cities, sleepy countryside villages, and sun-drenched coastal enclaves we visit on tour serve as windows into other worlds and ways of life. For the locals who call them home, those communities are vital economic, social, and cultural hubs, and we want to make sure our tours help them thrive for generations to come. Here are a few ways we—and you—can make lasting, positive impacts on local communities when we visit them together.

Sharing heritage

As you explore your destination, you’ll learn about local lifestyle and social philosophies, agricultural methods, time-honored culinary practices, and other enduring traditions that are central to its essence and identity.

Photo: Learn about locals’ thoughtful attitude toward life, and how nutritious foods, supportive friends, and a sense of purpose help Okinawans live long lives, on our Japan Adventure: Kyoto, the Japanese Alps & Tokyo tour.

Appreciating culture

One of the best ways to learn about and appreciate a new-to-you culture is by sharing in its creative traditions. On tour, we’ll open your eyes (and ears) to new and old forms of art, storytelling, music, dance, and other modes of expression.

Photo: Enjoy a performance by the Major Voices South African Choir on our South Africa: Cultural Cities & Wildlife Safaris tour.

Empowering locals

Wherever we can, we shine a spotlight on organizations that are working to better their own local communities and the lives of their staff. We also partner with small, locally owned suppliers so that revenue generated from our tours remains in the places we visit.

Photo: Meet residents of Thailand’s Mae Kampong eco village, and learn how they maintain their traditional way of life, on our Thailand Adventure: Bangkok, Chiang Mai & the Islands tour.

The EF Impact Report

In 2021, we introduced the EF Impact Report to share ways in which our Responsible Travel initiatives are effecting change around the globe and shaping our travelers’ on-tour experience. Want to know more about what we’re up to? Keep an eye on EF Impact for updates about what we do, and why it all matters.

View the full report

Connect with local communities on these tours

Food & Wine: Flavors of Tuscany & Umbria
11 days | 13 days with Rome extension

4.7 star rating

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Dive deeper into Responsible Travel

Watch our Responsible Travel webinar, explore our core commitments, and more.

Protecting the environment →
Head back to About Us

More ways to make a difference

In the community
  • Eat at locally-owned restaurants, where the food is more likely to be locally-sourced. (Check out our travel guides on the blog for ideas of where to go!)
  • Support local businesses to ensure money is invested back into the community.
  • Be aware of monetary norms (think: tipping and negotiating) in your destination.
  • Talk to your Tour Director about when it’s appropriate to take photos, and ask people for permission before you take their picture.
  • You’ll learn a lot while on tour, but take some time to read up on your destinations before you go. A few words in the local language can go a long way!
  • Wear culturally appropriate clothing and be respectful when visiting religious sites.
  • Consider giving gifts or donations directly to reputable NGOs, charities, or schools, where they’ll make the most impact.
  • Approach cultural differences with empathy and an open mind.
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To protect wildlife
  • Taking a dip in the ocean? Slather on sunscreen that’s reef-safe.
  • Avoid buying any exploitive wildlife products.
  • Let it be—there’s no need to remove anything from its natural environment or leave any litter.
  • Take the World Animal Protection’s philosophy of the Five Freedoms to heart.
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For the environment
  • Travel with a reusable water bottle.
  • Consider using a water filter if tap water isn’t drinkable in your destination.
  • Reduce waste by avoiding single-use plastics as much as possible.
  • Recycle, recycle, recycle. Go digital when you can, and recycle any necessary paper documents. Can’t find any recycling options while out and about on tour? Bring recyclables back to your hotel.
  • Take public transportation, especially trains and rideshares, when traveling on your own. Better yet—walk if you can.
  • Reuse hotel towels and turn the lights off when you leave your room.
  • Pack your own toiletries and grooming products.
  • Bring your own headphones to use with your whisper headset and on the plane.
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