Vietnam small group holiday, Saigon to Northern Vietnam

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2016: 1 Oct, 8 Oct, 15 Oct, 22 Oct, 29 Oct, 5 Nov, 12 Nov, 19 Nov, 26 Nov, 3 Dec, 10 Dec, 17 Dec, 24 Dec, 31 Dec
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Vietnam small group holiday, Saigon to Northern Vietnam

Environment

• This journey has had its carbon emissions offset for every passenger on every departure, so you can travel guilt-free, knowing we’ve got your carbon footprint covered.

• Creativity for Humanity. Our reusable cloth shopping bags given to Small Group Journey travellers in Vietnam are made by underprivileged and disadvantaged Vietnamese artisans who work with Creativity for Humanity.

• Unlike many operators, we directly recruit and train our local guides offering them continued training support. This develops their skills set whilst also enhancing our travelers experience. Our local guides are essential to our responsible travel policy and can contribute immensely to our impact ‘on the ground’. As well as offering guidance their local knowledge is an invaluable resource that our travellers regularly call-on when they are exploring Vietnam.

• As well as having offices in Australia, the United Kingdom and North America, we have offices in several cities in Indochina. Our direct presence in Asia means that we are much better able to control the content of our itineraries, the actions of our suppliers, and the style of our Small Group Journey and tailor-made travel arrangements. In short, our offices in Asia give us leverage in implementing our responsible travel policy.

Community

• On this journey you will visit the Spiral Foundation in hue. This charity runs the Healing the Wounded Heart workshop in Hue. Disabled artisans produce crafts from recycled materials and are able to generate an income. All proceeds go towards fair salaries for the disabled employees and towards funding heart surgeries for poor children in Hue. Most of our journeys that go to Hue visit the workshop and guests can meet the workers and make their own souvenirs to take home. SPIRAL are able to pay for around 100 open heart operations per year across Vietnam.

• On this journey you will visit Streets International in Hoi An. This NGO has a training restaurant in Hoi An that recruits young people from the local community and trains them in practical skills in hospitality (from chef to front of house). Almost all of our journeys that include Hoi An feature a visit to Streets International and out travellers (often in pairs) are taken to a little-visited market by one of the students (supervised by a teacher). This gives our travellers a great insight into local life as well as helping the students gain credits towards a recognised qualification. We also offer clients the chance to dine at the restaurant, where all proceeds are donated to the NGO.

• In Hanoi you will get the chance to visit the NGO run restaurant, KOTO, which trains underprivileged youngsters in various facets of the hospitality industry.

• apart from breakfast, on this journey we dine away from large hotels, instead frequenting smaller family-owned or charity run restaurants. This is a great way for travellers to experience authentic cuisine and support local business.

• In Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos we directly recruit, train and offer development to all of our local guides. We also run a local guide training programme with a Vietnamese University with successful graduates receiving a job with our company.

• Although sincere, many attempts at responsible travel can breed dependence (an increasingly disturbing and typical example is the rise of 'orphanage tourism') and are not always as they seem. By working through NGO's and local groups we are able to avoid such pitfalls.

• Ad hoc support. We also offer support in many of our destinations on an ad hoc basis. In Vietnam we have offered logistical support for victims of flooding, we financially support a rural school in southern Vietnam and also run annual fundraising events in our offices in Vietnam and Cambodia, as well as in in our offices in Australia and the United Kingdom.

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