Escorted small group unique tours of the Far East.
Member since: 20 Aug 2009
How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
Where possible we use small guest houses, restaurants and bars and where applicable encourage clients to contribute to the local economy by purchasing locally produced handicrafts. We use only small scale local operators, and local guides where applicable.
- We don’t produce a glossy brochure and conduct almost all our advertising online. We run a virtually paperless operation with, unless otherwise requested, all correspondence with clients conducted by email. All work is conducted from home.
- On tour where possible we use only public transport and avoid using internal flights. On treks we make sure all rubbish is removed by both clients and local staff. We discourage the use of mineral water and encourage sterilization of water. On all trips we try to encourage a policy of ‘take nothing but photographs (and even then only with permission!), leave nothing but footprints’.
- At the start of each trip clients are given an introduction to the culture they will be travelling though with information on local customs and etiquette and how to actually realise ‘minimum impact’ travelling. Clients are encouraged to learn at least some of the local language, even if its just ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ – and reminded of the value of non-verbal language, including the under-utilised art of smiling!
- The use of a bilingual leader also helps to foster interaction between visitor and visited, especially when that leader regularly leads the same trip, and clients are able to benefit from any established rapport.
- If visiting a politically sensitive country/region clients are fully briefed about the political issues of the areas they are visiting so as not to have a negative or dangerous impact on any group or individual they may encounter, however well-meaning their behaviour or intentions maybe.
- Clients are positively discouraged from handing out sweets, balloons etc to children and are advised of more positive ways of making charitable contributions to a community. We occasionally make optional contributions of trip proceeds to local charities e.g. the Mitrata-Nepal Foundation for Children in Nepal.