Steve Davey is a professional photographer and writer. I launched the Better Travel Photography range of travel photography tours as I saw that there was a gap in the market for tours run by working professional travel photographers with the backing of major players in the travel industry. All of the land arrangements for my tours are provided by Intrepid Travel and clients are fully protected by their industry bonding. Clients pay Intrepid direct, and all payments are handled by them. This means that we can benefit from Intrepid's comprehensive responsible travel policy, which we have supplemented with our own initiatives – notably concerning the effect of travel photography and our own environmental impact.
Member since: 06 Apr 2010
How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
- We are a small operator, running a maximum of three trips a year. As such we are not in a position to set up any initiatives ourselves. However, by engaging Intrepid Travel to provide our land arrangements we can confident that their policies of employing local leaders and guides, using locally run business and guesthouses and supporting local projects can help our trips to contribute to local economies.
- We also endorse the Intrepid Foundation, supply all details to our passengers and include a visit to a local project wherever possible on all of our tours.
- Engaging a responsible operator for land arrangements: As a very small operator, running only a few tours a year we cannot check all of the hotels and ground arrangements for ourselves. By using Intrepid Travel for our land arrangements we can be confident in their responsible travel and environmental policies. Intrepid also have the aim of becoming a carbon neutral company in 2010, which means that in conjunction with our initiatives (below) we can minimise the effect of these tours on the environment.
- Carbon-balancing all flights taken in the course of these tours: for the new 2010 season, we have undertaken to carbon balance all of our international and domestic flights through climatecare.org We also encourage clients to carbon balance the flights that they take, whether through the Intrepid Travel Carbon offset initiative, or through a separate scheme.
- Comprehensive recycling policy: all papers, ink cartridges, electronic goods and other recyclables from the office are recycled using local facilities.
- Reducing waste: we have a policy to minimise printing – especially for colour printing of photographs which uses a considerable amount of harmful inks. We favour low voltage light sources and actively switch these off when not in use. We also use individual switching to allow computer and other peripherals to be disconnected when not in use.
- Our responsible travel policy is prominently displayed on our website, and we also have a local section with each tour detailing specifics for each tour.
- All passengers are required to attend a standard Intrepid Travel group meeting where they are given the standard briefing, which includes comprehensive information about environmental, cultural and social issues. Travellers are also told about the Intrepid foundation and encouraged to consider making a donation.
- In addition to this, Steve Davey addresses the social issues concerning travel photography and makes sure that passengers know that they should not 'steal' pictures and should also treat people and cultures they encounter with respect. The stated mantra of the tours is that it is not worth taking a picture if you offend the person you are photographing. I extensively cover ways that you can come back with great pictures and not offend or intrude. People are also encouraged to send back examples for pictures, and have the issues about paying for pictures explained to them.
- As all trips are effectively Intrepid Travel trips, they all include a visit to a local social project. Many of these are sponsored by Intrepid. The actual projects they support and the project we will visit is detailed in the individual trips responsible travel section, and also in the trip notes.