Laos holidays, backroads of Laos

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Laos holidays, backroads of Laos

Environment

WILDLIFE: We aim to maximise the long-term positive interactions between holidaymakers, locals, wildlife and the environment. In this particular itinerary, the Nam Et-Phou Park employs former hunters and fishermen, conveniently some of the best wildlife trackers, to guide visitors. The revenues raised from the safari also fund local educational projects to empower villagers in the conservation strategy.

The Bear Sanctuary near Kuang Si falls is part of a conservation strategy to save Asiatic Black Bears from illegal poaching and trading. Without this sanctuary it is thought that the bears being cared for would be used in bile farming. This practice involves keeping Asiatic Black Bears in battery cages where their bile from the gall bladder is extracted and is used in traditional Asian medicine. The centre also works on education projects and supports confiscations of illegally poached and traded wildlife. School children are a key focus and it is hoped that the demand for bear bile will decrease as future generations are empowered with knowledge on how it is produced.

ENERGY WASTE & WATER: We promote smaller hotels that are independently run with emphasis on efficient waste disposal and energy management. All of our accommodation options in this itinerary conform to this category.

Community

FRIENDS & NEIGHBOURS: We are committed to supporting local communities and spreading the wealth brought by tourism to various groups. We encourage visitors to get off the beaten track to exchange with ethnic minority groups. We organise visits to local markets and help travellers learn local traditions.

A FAIR DEAL: More specifically, in the Nam Et Phou National Park we hope that very remote communities feel the benefits of tourism. Other than agriculture, there are few sources of employment in this remote area and tourism allows locals to capitalise on their traditional environmental knowledge. Subtle schemes to ensure all villagers reap rewards for conservation have been implemented; for example the money from tourism goes into a village development fund and there are no cash payments.

The Bear Sanctuary also employs locals to manage the centre. Through the various projects Free The Bears organises, there are regular business opportunities for fruit and vegetable suppliers, construction workers and artists.

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