Responsible tourism: Cuba Christmas & New Year tour
We aim to: Use locally owned infrastructure for accommodation and transport where possible. Provide opportunities for travellers to interact with local people. not take away flora and fauna in the forms of cuttings, seeds or roots, dried shells or coral. The environment is really delicate in this region and the bio-diversity of the region has to be protected at all costs. Limit the physical impact of trips in all destination communities - particularly sensitive natural and cultural environments. Actively ban leader and passenger participation in or endorsement of commercial sexual activities or illegal drug use on our trips. Actively discourage the participation of our groups in activities which exploit animals - wild or domestic. This includes zoos, aquariums, some breeding farms, & horse and carriage rides. We strongly recommend ethically and ecologically responsible alternatives, such as responsible whale and dolphin watching operations, or horse riding where animals are well cared for. **We DO NOT endorse any dolphinariums, swim with Dolphins, or the National Acuario in Havana. Use local operators that adhere to Big Planet Adventures' Responsible Travel Philosophies and provide the best possible service to our travellers and staff. Educate travellers and our operators about how and why we choose to travel this way and work to protect our environment. We encourage accommodation hosts and our tour leaders to provide large water dispensers to re-fill water bottles. By doing this and avoiding excess packaging we do not contribute to an already chronic waste disposal problem. Respect native marine life and marine mammals such as Star fish, turtles, coral & dolphins and the depletion of the lobster from over fishing in the caribbean.
Within the local community we aim to: Seek out and support locally owned businesses. Support local businesses during eco-travels to ensure maximum community and conservation benefit from our spending Spread the financial benefits amongst local people and operators. Create partnerships with smaller local companies where possible, rather than larger international ones. Work to prevent the exploitation of children in tourism. Provide employment and leadership opportunities for local people. Provide support to organisations and local communities visited by our groups. Limit the negative impacts to daily lifestyles of local people not involved with our groups. Actively Respect local customs and culture. Support and encourage fair employment practices. We donate money to NGO's and projects that are relevant to the areas we travel to (wherever possible). We encourage our clients to bring 5kg medical packs to Cuba and also, to leave behind any unwanted personal travel medical kits, toiletries and other useful items for local communities. We try to supply as much as possible pens and pencils and there small items to local schools where they have limited access to these items. We pay a high rate to our local suppliers and do not encourage cheap labour in anyway. We support the community by paying full wages and no commissions to encourage responsible local ethical business. All our groups stay and eat with locals so all our travellers are directly supplying an income to local towns, we also do not pre charge for activities, so travellers use a 'pay as you go' system, paying for only what they use (no prepaid unused activities!) By paying directly to the supplier and NOT through us as a third party the local community earns more and have direct contact in providing the service to the traveller.