Local guides, accommodation and suppliers are used wherever possible to ensure that the economic benefits from tourism directly benefit the local communities.
Several small communities and village schools have benefited from building and refurbishment projects initiated by the company in Vietnam, Morocco and Namibia.
Donations are made to specific projects from time to time (e.g. Link Ethiopia for each booking on our Simien Mountains trip) and we are currently diverting funding into villages in rural Nepal to provide shelter during the monsoon season in Nepal following the April 2015 earthquake disaster.
We are actively working to reduce our carbon footprint in our UK offices and minimise our impact on the environment. We work alongside Climate Care to offer clients the opportunity to offset aviation emissions. Many of our trips are walking or cycling based, a great way to see the country with minimal environmental impact. We work with hotels and suppliers who are environmentally conscientious, avoiding unnecessary transportation and waste and conserving energy and water wherever possible.
On trips and activities, we employ a pack-it-in pack-it-out policy to ensure that all rubbish is taken away to be disposed of responsibly and recycled where possible, camping in approved areas, using gas rather than firewood and providing water for washing to avoid pollution. By travelling in small groups, usually of 12 people or less, we reduce the impact on the environment and local people and are able to stay in small guesthouses that wouldnt normally benefit from tourism.
Many of our trips visit national parks and wildlife sanctuaries and conservation projects, helping to educate visitors and support the ongoing success of these projects.
Trips are always accompanied by local leaders and/or guides, and where necessary clients are advised of appropriate dress and behaviours in local communities, during festivities and when visiting places of religion. Many of our tours visit local schools, inhabitants and businesses. Clients are encouraged to only purchase responsible souvenirs and are taken to visit local, traditional businesses and restaurants and are served locally sourced foods.
Porter welfare is also carefully monitored and we follow strict IPPG guidelines to ensure that adequate clothing, food and equipment are provided. Porters have access to the same medical kit as clients and load weights are strictly adhered to.
Our local agents pride themselves on the long-term relationships formed with their staff and invest heavily in regular training courses. It is through this training and various educational projects, encouraging people to take responsibility for their future that we can really help the local people to help themselves.