As a global operator, we take our role in the tourism industry very seriously. We recognise the impact that tourism has on local communities and the environment, and we plan and operate all our tours with this front of our minds. We believe that every tour operator must be responsible in the way they conduct their business, to ensure the welfare of all people and the conservation of the environment.
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. We believe that responsible travel is about the attitude you take with you and the choices you make when travelling - to respect and benefit local people, their cultures, economy and the environment. For example on trips like this one through Cambodia where dress standards are conservative, particularly outside of the major cities, we recommend that our travellers (both male and female) wear loose, lightweight clothing so as not to offend, particularly when visiting religious sites.
Travelling through remote areas of Vietnam, Cambodia and on into Thailand, the Cambodian Traveller itinerary has been designed to pass through these regions as considerately as possible, while maximising the experience of our group. We use local transport where ever possible, from the public bus that takes us from HCMC to Phnom Penh, to the cyclos we use to explore the city; there’s even the opportunity to leap on the famous bamboo train in Battambang. Throughout, we stay in small, locally owned hotels reflective of the local flavour.
All produce used throughout the trip is sourced locally en route. We eat at local restaurants, encourage our travellers to only purchase souvenirs from local artisans and recruit our on the ground team (including the group leader) from the local communities that we travel through. All these elements combine to not only give a fantastic insight into the country and a snap shot of day to day life, but also put valuable financial resources back into the local economy, creating jobs and supporting local businesses.
As company our responsibilities don’t stop when our tours end. Our own in house foundation has been in operation for over 10 years; a not-for-profit fund that has distributed over AU$3 million to more than 70 non-government organisations since 2002, from health care, education, human rights, child welfare, sustainable development and in environmental and wildlife protection. Donations come from our travellers and are then matched by us dollar for dollar.
Across the three countries visited on this holiday, our foundation actively supports 12 different projects and causes. These include The Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation (Vietnam), working to some of the most vulnerable children in centre and north of the country to get them into vocational education and out of poverty; the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (Cambodia),a programme focussed on education and training to raise awareness of conservation issues, and Baan Unrak (Thailand). Translated as House of Happiness, this is an orphanage and community relief centre for children and destitute woman,
We are proud to be a carbon neutral company. We offset all our global carbon emissions and offer a carbon offset option to passengers booking their flights through us. Through these schemes, significant financial contributions are being made on behalf of our business, suppliers, staff and travellers to internationally certified carbon abatement projects, equating to over AU$1 million since 2007. Since then, 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!