Walking in holiday India, Ladakh & Kashmir

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Date
Price
Basis
05 Aug 2017
£ 2495
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 05 Aug 2017 departure
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Walking in holiday India, Ladakh & Kashmir

Environment

We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the environments we visit are not damaged or spoilt in any way. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to this trip and as tour operators, it is something we are careful to promote. Your guide on this trip will have been trained to uphold this policy and all clients are fully briefed on appropriate/responsible behaviour whilst in wilderness areas. This is particularly relevant on a tour such as this one since we will be walking though fragile sites and delicate ecosystems. By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites we visit.

We are very aware of the economic, ecological and ethical impact tourism can have on ancient cultures and fragile environments. We realise that taking clients through this region can have a negative impact on the environment if not handled responsibly and as such, on all of our trips we go to great lengths to minimise the negative and accentuate the positive - after all, there are also many good things that the traveller can bring.

By choosing to stay in homestays when we have a guide from the Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company we are making an environmental as well as community based decision. Homestays are the most eco-friendly way to discover Ladakh as the system puts a lot less pressure on natural resources, since the need for ponies and donkeys is not as great. Ponies and donkeys are necessary if you are camping and cooking out, but they tend to eat the limited grass available, depriving local wildlife and domestic animals of their food supply.

When you take one of our trips, we make a contribution to “Carbon Clear” – an organisation devoted to ‘offsetting’ or ‘neutralising’ harmful greenhouse gas emissions caused by your flight. This is done by funding projects across the world that will reduce greenhouse gases on your behalf through sustainable energy or rainforest restoration.

Community

In Ladakh and Kashmir we use local ground handlers - this means that all the operational costs go directly into the local economy and helps to improve employment opportunities in remote regions. By incorporating homestays, locally owned hotels, family run restaurants and the services of guides and drivers into our itineraries, we ensure that money you spend on your trip goes directly into the local economy and local communities benefit from tourism.

For this tour from day 9 we will be using local guides from the Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company, a travel agency owned and operated by Ladakhi women, whose aim is to encourage the women of Ladakh to show their abilities and skills. We will stay in local homestays recommended by our guides on nights 9, 10 and 11. By using the homestay system, we help the women to achieve the same status as men, and it also encourages people to remain in their villages instead of seeking employment in the cities.

Through working with the Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company we are also demonstrating our support for a local company that provides jobs to women whose skills would otherwise have been overlooked.

In order to facilitate an enduring support structure for the communities we visit, and to show a commitment to these values, in January 2009 we set up a charitable foundation through which we can directly channel funds to both existing NGOs and our own development projects. In addition to organising ethically sensitive tours, having our own charitable foundation allows us to raise money – through the cost of our tours, charity trips and fund raising events – which can then be used to fund various projects in education, sanitation, reforestations and a number of other important issues facing developing communities.

We also support several other Aid agencies and NGOs around the world which are all carefully selected to improve the standard of living for the communities we visit such as the Shuxiong Schools Fund which was set up by one of our guides. This fund has supported several schools and educational projects for Tibetan children in Eastern Tibet, Bhutan and recently in the harsh environment of Zanskar, Ladakh where the community school in Rangdum has been given a vehicle to transport the children to school in all weather conditions. This final project is an example of the direct impact we have had in one of the regions visited on this trip.

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