Originally from Croatia, and now settled in the Netherlands by way of the UK and Australia, Marcela Rilovic is an experienced marketing and content manager with an international mindset and a proven track record in managing complex online content development projects in non-for-profit and socially responsible international organizations. With a background in non-for-profit communications and web-based development, at Better Places Travel Marcela’s main focus has been to map out the best and most consistent content and marketing strategy for promoting this responsible travel start up internationally.
- Better Places is a sustainable travel company making huge changes in the travel industry.
- Better Places offers unique, meaningful, tailor-made travel experiences that are individualized to each traveler’s vision and needs.
- Sustainability is at the top of their list of priorities, and Better Places works with both parties, the traveler and the suppliers, to develop relationships and create a low-impact travel experience.
- Better Places definitely walks the walk, and are dedicated to calculating and compensating for CO2 emissions created during their planned trips.
Having the heart of a traveler and an environmentally-conscious mind often creates a silent argument about where my next travel destination will be. Traveling is an important part of life; it brings cultures together and creates community around the globe, which is essential for existing in peace on this Earth. Travel also provides incomparable opportunities for personal growth. But traveling can also present harmful impacts on the planet, CO2 emissions and plastic waste being two of the larger problems.
The good news: there is an eco-conscious travel company paving the way for providing individual travel experiences that are meaningful, authentic, and focus almost entirely on planning trips with the lowest carbon footprint possible.
Better Places, a company founded in the Netherlands in 2014, is succeeding in creating positive change in the travel industry. Better Places was established to address the need for environmentally friendly travel experiences, and to connect travelers with small scale accommodation and local, authentic experiences. I had the opportunity to speak with Marcela Rilovic about Better Places, and could not be more impressed with what this company is accomplishing.
“Better places to live in, and better places to visit.”
Better Places prioritizes both the traveler and the local suppliers to create the best experience for both parties. They strive to create better places for their suppliers to live in, and better places for their travelers to visit. As of now, they have over 38 destinations available for travelers to choose from, and each trip is specifically tailored to meet each individual’s travel needs.
Another admirable aspect of Better Places is their focus on long-term sustainability and their dedication to compensating CO2 emissions for each of their trips. They accomplish this by calculating their CO2 emissions with a Carmacal Calculator, and then create projects to help counteract those emissions. For example, they collaborated with the South Pole group and invested in a project to provide more efficient cooking stoves to community members in Ghana to offset the carbon emission from the trips they planned for their travelers.
“We’ve really always thought that climate action and climate change is a big responsibility, and also for the travel industry, and we want to take that responsibility seriously. We understand the air travel is by far the most environmentally harmful component of overseas travel.”
To say that Better Places has been successful would be an understatement, and they have big plans for the future, including a pilot study to dive deeper into evaluating their travel carbon footprint. Start-up companies often struggle to be successful, so I asked Marcela to share her thoughts about what factors have contributed to Better Places rapid success. She responded with only two answers, the satisfaction from both their clients (an average rating of 9.2, amazing!) and local suppliers, and their overall timing as a business.
Take some time to listen to, or watch, the entire podcast to hear more about what Better Places is doing to change the current travel industry. So far, they’ve blown me away with what they’ve already accomplished in such a short amount of time. Next time you’re planning an adventure, visit their website and consider booking an authentic, tailor-made experience with them.
Your support for Better Places will continue to shift this world to a more wholesome, connected, sustainable place.