As a global tour operator, we are committed to travelling responsibly and enthusiastically encourage all of our travellers to adopt our ethos. We believe that it is the responsibility of every traveller and every organisation to ensure that the area being visited benefits fully from our tourism and we work hard to ensure that all our itineraries are designed to respect the cultures, economy and the environment of the regions through which we travel.
We are committed to operating in a responsible manner, incorporating the principles of sustainable development in the way we provide our travellers with real life experiences. These values are more than just words on a page; they are ingrained in our culture and the daily operations of every office and every trip.
When travelling through Asia, we always encourage our travellers to dress conservatively and respect the culture, particularly outside the major cities. We provide travellers with advice on appropriate dress and behaviour before the trip departs.
As well as being aware of cultural sensitivities, we endeavour to leave as little impact on a destination and environment as possible. We do this by travelling in small groups, on average about ten passengers with the maximum group size as 16. Travelling in small groups enables us to integrate into the local culture and experience snapshots of local life.
Big parts of Vietnamese history are the Cu Chi Tunnels, located just outside of Ho Chi Minh City. We feel itís important to take travellers there to give them a real insight and appreciation into a countryís history. The visit is particularly moving and tells travellers part of the backstory of Vietnam. We employ all local tour leaders which provide secure and promising jobs for local people and gives us a true representation of a destination, adding to the experience for both traveller and local.
When we visit the World Heritage listed site of Hoi An, we encourage travellers to buy local souvenirs, often hand made by local villagers, to support the small businesses. We feel itís imperative to financially support local businesses because it not only gives keeps locals at home rather than seeking out work in bigger cities, but it also enables us to visit these destinations over and over again. In Hoi An, we head off into the rural countryside on bicycles to explore local life.
As a company, our dedication to sustainable tourism doesnít stop when our tours do. We have four projects in Vietnam dedicated to helping vulnerable children and families in providing educational services and training to help people out of poverty. We also support the Turtle Conservation Centre that has specialised breeding and holding facilities for over 600 turtles, representing 15 of Vietnamís 23 native species.
We support the non-profit Nguyen Nga Centre that offers education, training and work placement assistance for disadvantaged people and people with disabilities. We purchase embroidered Ďsay no to plasticí cloth shopping bags for our travellers and the income goes to the centre to help pay their rent.
We are proud to be carbon neutral. We offset all our global carbon emissions and offer a carbon offset option to passengers booking their flights through us. On this particular tour, we offset 309kg per passenger. Since 2007, we have offset over 45,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. That's equal to approximately the amount of carbon that 2,796,047 trees would absorb over 10 years, or taking over 4,753 passenger cars off the road for an entire year!