Sustainable Travel? Responsible Travel? Eco Travel? Green Travel?
We opened Panama Boutique because we loved traveling there, and didn't want the country to turn into a generic, foreign owned, tourist trap. Our goal was to source and represent lodges and tours that embraced the nature of Panama. We felt that we might be able to make a difference in shaping the future of tourism there. We expanded our business to Latin America and beyond, retaining our goal to provide experiences that could enrich both the traveler and the local economies.
It doesn't matter what you call it. The bottom line is that tourism can help a destination preserve its natural and cultural gems while providing income and incentive to the people that live there. It's win-win.
We choose lodges and tours that:
- Are locally owned or employ locals in high level positions
- Protect their local environment from degradation, and work to enhance it
- Support local environmental and cultural groups
- Reflect the local culture and allow for interaction
- Follow best practices
Any given lodge or tour may not meet all our criteria. In those cases, we felt that the uniqueness outweighed the negatives.
What We Do
- Operate a virtual office (no need for a commute or maintenance of a separate facility)
- Produce electronic documents (paperless)
- Annually review our lodge & tour offerings for best practice compliance
- Offer travelers choices of organizations they can support, as a means of offsetting their 'carbon footprint'
- Give all of our travelers a water bottle to be re-filled, rather than single use bottles