We are committed to offering low impact tours that benefit both the places and communities we visit as well as our travellers. It is important for us all to be aware of the delicate balance that exists in the variety of natural wonders you will visit. National Parks and monuments, archaeological sites and other sensitive areas should and must be treated with respect.
We have created a 'Travellers' Code of Conduct' to help prepare and inform our groups of the various positive or negative effects they could have on a destination. The code includes tips on everything from handling wildlife encounters to how you can help to conserve precious natural resources. Our tour leaders will explain this code of conduct during the first night’s orientation talk and encourage you to follow it throughout the tour.
This code includes following the ‘Leave No Trace’ ethic, this is an international campaign that is designed to help us minimise the impact on the National Parks and other wilderness areas that we visit. Some key guidelines we follow include keeping to existing trails, staying in official campgrounds and disposing of all waste responsibly and recycling whatever we can.
We are proud supporters of Bay Area Wilderness Training (www.bawt.org) a charity based in Oakland California which works to connect disadvantaged children in the local urban area with the great outdoors. Their work helps to provide these young people with life changing experiences which they can
apply to everyday life. Everyone booking with Grand American Adventures has the option to donate £1/$1/€1 to support this well-deserved charity and we will match this donation.
Whenever possible, we use local accommodation and activity providers. We also shop locally for groceries for the groups camping meals, eat in small family-run restaurants and visit local shops whenever possible. This all brings economic benefit to the local communities that we visit.
In Alaska we use small locally owned service providers for our included and optional activities. Due to the short tourist summer season in this region we make a special effort to use as much varied local produce whilst on tour as possible. This aims to evenly distribute money spent on tourism in Alaska between many small businesses.
This tour incorporates use of a local guide and National Park communal transport in Denali National Park, as well as adhering to National Park rules and regulations. Our tour leaders will educate travellers on how best to interact with the wildlife in the parks, for example advising people not to feed the animals to stop them becoming dependent on hand-outs from humans. They will also advise all groups to keep to the path to avoid upsetting the balance of nature.
We spend a significant amount of time at various National Parks on this tour, the included entrance fees help to preserve the status and upkeep of the park on a continued and sustainable basis. Interaction with National Park Rangers helps to preserve this role as an employment opportunity for local people and future generations.
This tour has the opportunity to interact with wildlife and the tour leader encourages all travellers to not feed the animals, keep to a safe distance, and avoid upsetting the balance of nature. Upon arriving to a new park, we visit the ranger station for information on how to handle wildlife encounters. This is especially prevalent in Denali National Park when visitors are encouraged to leave the trails.