Why Partner with Us

Socially Responsible Tourism is important to the tourism industry and is increasingly valued by consumers. The climbing public is becoming more aware and concerned about exploitation and mistreatment of mountain crew within the climbing industry. In response, companies will easily claim that they provide fair and ethical treatment of their crew in order to secure business.

As a Partner for Responsible Travel Company you will be demonstrating that you are ensuring fair and ethical treatment of mountain crew monitored by an independent and objective organization. Your clients will be guaranteed that the company is meeting the proper treatment guidelines related to the crew. In so doing, you will be reinforcing your company’s reputation for fair labor practices and as a leader in Corporate Social Responsibility.

Being a Partner Company can be a major marketing advantage proving that your company is dedicated to responsible tourism and ethical travel.  It will also provide your business with greater market exposure as many clients specifically seek ethical and responsible travel companies. Once your company meets the 85% performance level, your company’s name will appear on the Partner for Responsible Travel Program list on the IMEC and KPAP websites.

Travel Industry Experts Agree:

According to Booking.com’s Sustainable Travel Report for 2020, 82 per cent of global travelers have identified sustainable travel as being important to them while 58 per cent say they are looking to make more sustainable choices once we can travel again.

Now is the time for destinations to take charge and demand that tourism be helpful to their environmental efforts and supportive of locals instead of harmful or exploitative.”

Shannon Stowell, president of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).

Travelers are also increasingly aware of human rights and working conditions, demanding forms of responsible tourism that protect people and give back to communities.  (Sustainability Leaders Project)

A 2016 study by Sustainable Travel International and Mandala Research found 86% of 2,292 travelers surveyed agreed that making a concerted effort to ensure the local community will benefit from its presence would positively increase the brand perception of a corporation.

How does the program work?

The Partner for Responsible Travel Program has proven to be instrumental in facilitating improvements of porter treatment on Mount Kilimanjaro. KPAP collects seasonal data on porter treatment including porter wages, tipping, bag weight, food provision and tent accommodation. This data is reported annually to Tanzanian government authorities and tour operator associations as well as companies participating with the Partner for Responsible Travel Program. Please refer to the Our Impact page for a summary of this information.

KPAP advocates that it is the duty of every climber, local tour operator, foreign travel agent, and charity group to take the steps needed to ensure that climbing companies provide fair and ethical treatment of their crew. IMEC’s Partner for Responsible Travel Program provides an assessment by a third party, based on objective measurements, to determine if a climbing company is meeting the proper treatment standards.

Is there a cost to become a Partner for Responsible Travel?

No, the program is free to join.

Please join us in our work to advocate for and safeguard the fair and ethical treatment of all porters.

climbers on Kilimanjaro during sunrise

All climbing companies are welcome to participate with IMEC’s Partner for Responsible Travel Program. Learn more about becoming a Partner for Responsible Travel.