The small scale of homestays we use is one reason we suggest limiting travel groups to relatively small numbers. We also encourage our clients to travel in small groups in order to reduce overall environmental impact, and to allow more and better interaction with their guides and local people.
As part of our commitment to the environment, we have partnered with several primate protection projects in Vietnam. We assisted Fauna and Flora International (FFI – a highly regarded international conservation organisation) in setting up the Pu Luong trails. At present, we’re supporting another important FFI project to save a critically endangered species of large primate, the Cao Vit Gibbon, now reduced to less than sixty individuals worldwide. We plan to encourage our clients to help us in this effort by offering to match their donations. In 2008, we sponsored the installation of 96 fuel-efficient stoves in three communes located near the conservation areas.
These units considerably reduced the amount of wood harvested by local people for their daily needs. This project was completed, but the threat of poachers and other dangers remained. Since 2009, we have continuously sponsored a full-time ranger for the Cao Vit Gibbon Conservation Project. More are needed.
We have built strong links with local communities and homestay operators. We offer visitors the opportunity to meet local people and their host families, thereby valuing their activities and contributing to their livelihoods. For example, by spending the night in a Dao ethnic minority hamlet, you'll be supporting one of our local partner communities in Sapa.
Wherever possible, we contract local indigenous suppliers and assist them to improve the quality of their services. By booking this tour, you'll be helping us to support Vietnamese service providers, artists and performers, small businesses, boat owners and other poor people in communities throughout Vietnam. Your payment for food, accommodation and activities will go to our local partners who have contributed to your experience here.
We use local freelance guides with wide experience and knowledge of cultural traditions and an ability to interpret the cultural heritage of the people in the places visited. For this tour, you'll have three or four different guides from various provinces of Vietnam.