La Balaguère is a founding member of Action for Responsible Tourism.
The certification "Towards Responsible Tourism" was awarded to La Balaguère in 2009 by AFNOR certification. Based on common values of respect, solidarity and quality, ART aims to harmonize the professional practices of its members.
To win the confidence of customers, the certification focuses on four key commitments, which arise from many activities internally and in the field.
1. With respect to the client : provide clear and transparent information, introduce awareness of responsible tourism, (dissemination of the Code of Ethics for the traveller) provide information to the traveller on the environment, heritage, local cultures, and take account their observations on the subject.
2. In the country of destination : focus on local recruitment, train and make aware staff in terms of responsible tourism, engage with local service providers, and actively and financially support local development.
3. Locally, with our service providers : ensure compliance with fair working conditions for employees, and establish a policy for waste management and natural resources. These conditions are defined by ART for each country.
4. Apply these rules within the company : train staff in responsible tourism, manage by communication, have a system for sharing added value and a policy of environmental management.
This certification is based on concrete actions, the following examples are common to both agencies:
We are engaged in local development and maintenance of localised economic activity the Pyrenees. We have created a business in our region sufficient to support the different participants in the field of tourism and trekking in the wild.
Within their premises, we have adopted an environmental policy, including the use of environmentally friendly products, controlling their respective consumption (water, electricity, etc.)., Practicing recycling, and by introducing a car sharing system within the company.
This policy to respect the environment is also present in the sale and supply of travel options, almost all of the trips can be reached by train and we also encourage our guests to carpool to join these tours: we try and limit car use and give priority to less polluting means of transport. The formula "backpacking" is proposed for each section of the path, another way to limit the use of vehicles.
Finally, our guided tours the groups are limited to 15 people to focus on user friendliness and reduce the impact of our passage.