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Sustainability in travel

As a member of the travel industry, we can’t help but think about the roles—both good and bad—that tourism plays on a local and global scale. In many of our cities, tourism is a major industry that drives the local economy and supports the lives of residents. At the same time, tourism often introduces a number of new problems, and threatens to diminish the qualities that have made these cities so unique over the centuries.

A Context expert guide leading a tour down a marbled hallway in a museum

Impacts of tourism

In Venice for example, tourism has pushed residents out of the center. In Paris, tourism has skewed the preservation agenda to favor the most popular sights at the expense of a host of “forgotten monuments” that are literally crumbling before our eyes. In Rome, major monuments like the Colosseum or Vatican are so overcrowded that the sites’ meaning—once so powerful—is often compromised.

Four friends walking  down a narrow cobblestone street in an old village

The Context Approach

From our beginnings, we’ve been asking ourselves how we can protect the places that we love while enhancing the experience of the people we serve. To us, travel is more than a consumption experience, or an easy pass-through of culture. We believe that—done consciously and responsibly—travel can profoundly benefit both the visitor and the visited. We don’t take our responsibility within the travel industry lightly, and we are committed to spreading our specific approach to sustainability:

  • To exceed the minimum requirements of B Corp, the gold standard in sustainable business practices
  • To approach our cities with sensitivity and a dedication to understanding
  • To support the local communities within these cities, most notably experts who have dedicated their lives to the deep study of that place, history, or culture
  • To educate our customers on the current state and historical underpinnings of the critical issues facing our cities today, such as local politics, historic preservation and conservation, and climate change

In short—we aim to live up to our name: that is, to engross travelers in the why and how of a city by nurturing quality learning, meaningful interactions, and memorable conversations.

Proud to be a certified B Corp since 2011

B Corp Certification Logo
The Grand Canal in Venice at sunset