Okarina Tours

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Holistic Retreats provides travelers with a holistic experience of artistic practices, healing and personal growth through retreats & journeys. All our retreats and journeys are facilitated by professionally and internationally mixed team of artists, healers, acomodations providers, local tour guides and spiritual seekers. We specialize on promoting healthy life- style hollidays in organic, ecological, self-sustainable local house-holds and facilities. We take care of picking up destinations that support creative and healing processess in terms of climate, cultural habits and sacred ancient knowledge & wisdoms.
Member since: 23 Jun 2016

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

  • We ensure that local economies benefit from our business by employing local people as specialist guides, employing local artists to lead professional workshops, working with local operators and suppliers, sourcing food from locally-owned stores and eating and drinking in local bars and restaurants. In doing so, we are not only investing in local communities but also offering our travellers a genuine insight into a country, culture and its people.
  • We aim to build long term and successful relationships with business partners in locations we operate. Our success lies in our support of local communities, who have made us welcome.
  • When on retreat we encourage clients to eat at locally-owned restaurants rather than global multinational companies. As well as providing clients with a more authentic experience of local cuisine and culture and in this way we preserve cuisine and cooking methods, which are in danger of being lost in some countries. When food is provided, Holistic Retreats aims to purchase high-quality fresh food from local markets where possible. Sometimes we even employ local cook to take care of our food intake while having a retreat.
  • Optional excursions are often an exciting part of a retreat and journey with Holistic Retreats. We look for activities which will suit our clients’ varied tastes and budgets, while supporting local operators and putting money back into local economies.
    Holistic Retreats has always used local operators, representatives and specialist guides. Nearly 100% of the specialist guides (used to inform our clients about local attractions, treks and other special excursions & events) employed by Holistic Retreats are locally sourced. This ensures knowledgeable, enthusiastic staff, thorough guiding and support of local individuals and businesses. Holistic Retreats will endeavour to ensure that local partners are employed under fair conditions, are paid a living wage for reasonable hours and are given adequate support by our operations team and retreat staff. Our close relationships with local companies allow us to put more money back into the local economies. It also allows clients to gain greater insight into the local customs and traditions through their contact with our local operators. On certain retreats the specialist knowledge of guides is invaluable.

Environmental responsibility

  • Holistic Retreats aims to limit our impact on the environment in several ways. We always look for accommodations that already have a mission to preserve and protect delicate ecosystems, wildlife and natural habitats. We are following rules that minimise the effects of our presence in an area. We also reduce waste and pollution and recycle, repair and reuse what we can.
  • We try to look for local accommodations which are safe, comfortable and operated in a sustainable way. In developing countries that we visit the standard of accommodation varies widely, however we make an effort to seek out accommodation which uses energy from renewable sources where facilities exist.
  • Local resources such as water and electricity are often in short supply and tourism can put pressure on these services and supplies which can in turn reduce the supplies available to local people. In order to mitigate this, Holistic Retreats informs clients about local issues such as the availability of hot water, the scarcity of water in a particular area and tips about how they can reduce their use and wastage. We will also inform our clients about the style and limitations of local plumbing, such as the squat vs western-style toilets and what's flushable. The sewer systems in many countries are not able to cope with non-human waste. Blockages can cause floods which deprive local people of their vital services and create extra costs.

    Holistic retreats clients may be asked by tour leaders and crew to:
    • Turn off the lights, air conditioning and fans when leaving a room
    • Reconsider using air conditioning if possible
    • Reconsider whether they need new towels every day and let the hotel know if they would prefer to reuse their towels – this would reduce water used and reduce the amount of detergents in the waste water which ends up in the sewer system / water ways / ocean
    • Recycle cans, paper and plastics if facilities exist at retreats
    • Encourage travellers to tell the accommodation providers that recycling facilities would be welcome, if they’re not currently offered – demand often precedes supply of such services

    Most of our staff are quite active and live relatively close to the office. Staff are encouraged to walk, cycle or take public transport to work, or work from home where appropriate. We try to carpool wherever possible for events or use public transport.

    The Holistic Retreats Responsible Travel policy is included in induction materials for new staff. All staff are made aware of the reason for recycling and are asked to recycle all waste paper, cardboard, cans and plastics. Staff are reminded to turn off computers and appliances, air conditioning/heating and lights at night.

Social responsibility

  • Holistic Retreats was founded as a collaboration between artists, healers, tour guides, accommodation providers and spiritual seekers. People that have history and experience in supporting many different community-led projects and events around the world, with the goal of ensuring that the money made from our travelling to a region goes directly to those most in need, in order to make a lasting difference the local communities that we visit. e.g. : Part of money gathered from our retreats also goes to support local orphanage in India and local artistic communities in Bali and India.
  • When designing new retreats, Holistic Retreats often consult and request advice from local operators to ensure our proposals are realistic. Holistic Retreats is highly selective of local associates and aims to approach only those who share its positive and long-term developmental outlook. Holistic Retreats is committed to being honest about the impacts our products may have on local lifestyles and communities. We ensure they are happy to have our products in their areas and do not impose developments if they are unwanted. When we’re developing and planning new itineraries our destination managers are careful to ensure that our retreats will provide maximum opportunities to engage with the local people and natural environment, so that local economies benefit directly from our business and our travellers gain a genuine insight into region and its people.
  • We feel that travelling to foreign countries provides a chance to experience new cultures and interact with new people. It is not an opportunity for us to impose our culture upon others. We encourage clients to be sensitive to the host culture through preserving and encouraging cultural and social diversity. We discourage the display of traditional or cultural ‘shows’ for commercial purposes. As enjoyable as they can be for clients, we are attempting to keep local culture and tradition genuine rather than encouraging it to be used as a commercial attraction.

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