Responsible tourism: Highlights of South America holiday
Waste- On this tour we reduce waste by recycling and reusing what we can. Our tour leaders ask travellers to recycle cans, paper and plastics if facilities exist at the hotel or hostel, and encourage travellers to hold on to their plastics to recycle elsewhere if such facilities aren’t available. We also encourage travellers to tell the hotel that recycling facilities would be welcome, if they’re not currently offered – demand often precedes supply of such services. When visiting national parks or sights of historical significance on this tour, such as Machu Picchu in Peru and Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia, tour leaders ask travellers not to litter or graffiti, even if others have done so.
Suppliers - With 27 years’ experience of operating tours in Latin America, we have built longstanding and successful relationships with suppliers and operators in the continent. We are highly selective of local associates and aims to approach only those who share its positive and long-term developmental outlook for South America, and its commitment to promoting responsible travel practices. When sourcing new suppliers, we make sure they have a sustainable travel policy in place, and we provide them with a copy of our own responsible travel policy, ensuring that they adhere to our methods which aim to reduce the negative impacts that travel can have on the local environment.
Local crafts and culture – we help sustain jobs and cultural diversity by supporting local craft makers and artisans on this tour through encouraging our travellers to visit local markets in each destination on the itinerary. For example, there are Andean craft markets in Lima, Cuzco and La Paz, where locals knit or carve their own products and sell them to our travellers, benefiting directly from their presence in the area. We also visit many cultural attractions on this tour, such as the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, local communities on the islands of Lake Titicaca and local wineries in Mendoza. The economic support of these local cultural highlights directly benefits the sights and their conservation, and our travellers will continue to promote these attractions even after they leave through word of mouth, thereby encouraging future visits.
A fair deal – We ensure that the local economies benefit directly from our business by employing local people as expert guides and representatives. 95% of the specialist guides employed by us are locally sourced, ensuring knowledgeable, enthusiastic staff, thorough guiding and it also allows clients to gain greater insight into the local customs and traditions through their contact with locals. On this tour the specialist knowledge of guides is invaluable, such as in the Amazon Jungle and on the Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. We will endeavour to ensure that local partners are employed under fair conditions, are paid a living wage, work reasonable hours and are given adequate support by our operations team and tour staff. We have a specific policy in place to protect the rights and conditions of porters on the Inca Trail.