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.
On this trip to Borneo travellers will encounter local communities along the riverbanks and stay overnight with our Iban hosts. The benefits of this are obvious for both parties; as well as the financial benefit to the local community, this gives us as travellers a privileged insight into a culture and lifestyle very different from our own. As part of our commitment to travelling without impact, we recommend that our travellers come prepared for this experience and are aware that dress standards are conservative in many rural areas. We recommend loose, lightweight clothing so as not to offend, particularly in areas outside of the major cities, where much of this trip is spent.
One of the many advantages of travelling in small groups is the flexibility it gives us getting from A to B. We take care to use local transport on this trip, utilising local boats along the coast and waterways of Sarawak and preferring to explore the jungle trails and pathways on foot to make the most of wildlife spotting opportunities. Walking and trekking obviously being the most eco-friendly of transport methods, providing the only thing left behind is footprints!
As a further part of our commitment to responsible travel this trips stays in a combination of small, locally owned hotels, and more basic, dormitory accommodations in Mulu and Bako National Parks. As mentioned above we also have a night in a traditional Iban Longhouse. We source produce locally throughout the trip, eat at local restaurants and encourage our travellers to purchase souvenirs from local artisans and recruit our on the ground team, including group leader from the local community. These small factors not allow us a fantastic insight into the country and a snap shot of day to day life, but it also puts valuable financial resources back into the local economy, creating jobs and supporting local businesses.
Visits to projects such as the Semenggoh Orangutan Sanctuary and our entrance fees into the National Parks also assist in financially supporting vital conservation projects and preserving the environment for future generations.
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.
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!