Minimising Negatives and Maximising Positives

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EXO Travel has advocated for responsible tourism since its inception and has since expanded across the region raising more awareness to issues and impact tourism has on the environment. “Travelling has a significant environmental impact but that doesn’t mean we can’t balance or compensate for it,” says Coralie Baudet, EXO Travel Sustainability Coordinator.

Their carbon offset program aims to reduce the carbon emission created by flights taken by travelers and by calculating how much emission is released per traveler, EXO Travel then transforms these carbon emissions into credits which are then converted into dollars.

EXO Travel is also working in partnership with Nexus For Development to support local projects in order to reduce emissions such as the production of improved cookstoves.

The company also successfully applies their efforts through various corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts to highlight the negative impacts caused by greenhouse gas.

“We are a travel agency and our business model is based on tourism. If we don’t preserve the destinations we operate in, then there is no sense to come here,” says Coralie, explaining EXO Travel’s CSR efforts aim to make both travelers and host countries be mutually aware of one another.

“It’s important for travelers to understand the culture of the country they are visiting and to be also be concerned about the waste they are generating as well,” she adds.

EXO Travel’s CSR initiatives coincides with their business model where it’s all about minimising negative impacts and increasing the positive mark on both the host and travelers in Cambodia.

However, Coralie does stress that in order to successfully relay EXO Travel’s vision, challenges of getting people to understand is a long process. “You have to explain, follow up and persevere. We are convinced about it and we give advice to travelers to guide them to be responsible while they travel,” she says, referring to the guidelines and booklets provided travelers to further educate them on culture in Cambodia as well as their role in reducing negative impacts on the environment. The company also applies their principles internally by engaging in Plastic Free July as well as hiring someone to cook lunch for the office staff, in order to prevent higher usage of plastic containers or styrofoams.

Both of EXO Travel’s projects, especially the Carbon Offset program and EXO Foundation Organisation have increased traction for a more responsible tourism in Cambodia.

Coralie is optimistic that their efforts and partnerships with other organisations in the country will be able to change the way people consume in order to further improve and protect the environment.

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