All of Dominican Treasures’ members that make up its network of destinations share a common vision…to support and promote sustainable tourism in the DR. But what does sustainability mean to Dominican Treasures and its members? And how does that impact your travel experience?
Dominican Treasures members attempt to adhere to three central pillars of sustainability – environment, social/economic, and management - established by the “Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria” (www.sustainabletourismcriteria.org). The criteria help the travel industry support poverty alleviation and environmental protection and were established by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, United National Environmental Programme, Rainforest Alliance, and the United Nations Foundation along with the industry’s top companies.
Dominican Treasures members strive to minimize their negative impact on the environment by attempting to reduce their consumption of basic resources such as water and electricity. They avoid the trade or consumption of illegal or endangered species. Members develop environmental “codes of conduct” that mitigate tourism’s impacts to natural areas and wildlife. Finally, many Dominican Treasures members directly support local environmental protection through contributions of their time or money.
Using tourism as a tool to combat poverty and create jobs for local communities is an important aspect of sustainability. Dominican Treasures’ members make every effort to hire local staff from nearby communities, including managerial roles. Members attempt to locally source products, such as food and handicrafts. Members are also asked to support gender equality and avoid child labor. Cultural “codes of conduct” help to mitigate tourism’s impact to living culture as well as heritage sites. Finally, many Dominican Treasures members directly support social and community initiatives including education, sanitation, and healthcare.
Dominican Treasures’ members are also assessed and encouraged to improve their overall management practices. These criteria include the amount of staff training provided, their practice of soliciting customer feedback to ensure client satisfaction, the accuracy of promotional materials, and finally the degree to which the member provides interpretive information to visitors of natural surroundings and cultural heritage.
How Sustainability Affects Your Experience
Because of the steps that Dominican Treasures’ members take to ensure the sustainability of their tourism products, your visit will not only be comfortable and exciting…it will also contribute to supporting social and environmental causes in the Dominican Republic.So book a tour…and feel good!