Responsible tourism: Bolivia small group tour, Lowlands to The Andes
When travelling in remote and environmentally pristine areas that have few tourists such as in Bolivia, there is an additional responsibility on us as a company and on our clients visiting to do everything possible to minimise our impact.
We reduce our waste while travelling, using local cafes and restaurants. We also work extremely closely with our local partners to inform and educate their staff about a range of issues, including litter and waste disposal, and the recycling of material. Clients are advised to bring their own water bottles rather than purchase plastic.
Wherever possible we use environmentally friendly local accommodation. If this is not possible we make every effort to alert the management of the accommodation in question to ways of improving their service with the environment in mind. Many of the hotels and lodges we use are in extremely remote areas and are therefore almost entirely self-sufficient, using local sources of food, labour and construction materials such as those on the remote and isolated salt flats of the high Andes. We also stay on this tour with a local community where self sufficiency is key for the community.
We work closely with our local suppliers to highlight best practice in terms of environmental issues, an important effort in a country where the environment is often taken for granted.
We only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign Tour Leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travellers. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social impact.
On this tour we visit the Yampara Community and take some time to visit local families in their home, as well as staying in locally owned accommodation. By doing this we are encouraging our clients to interact both socially and financially with the local community, and supporting and encouraging the development of local services. Furthermore, clients are taught about the local textile processes that are used which allows social interaction between the locals and tourists without damaging the authenticity of the community.
In addition, we avoid including pre-paid full board meals where possible to allow our clients to make an informed decision on where their money should be spent. Local cafes and restaurants then benefit.
Finally to emphasis our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travellers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.