Northeast Thailand holiday, World Heritage sites
Description of Northeast Thailand holiday, World Heritage sites
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetEnvironment: Our Thailand World Heritage tour is intended to be a genuinely small group, low impact tour. By limiting groups to small sizes (maximum 12 persons) we aim to reduce the impact on both local communities and the environment whilst allowing for greater interaction with said communities.
It also results in a higher guide/customer ratio thus greater facility for supervision and individual assistance and allows us to use smaller hotels and restaurants and employ the services of more genuinely Ďlocalí operators perhaps not otherwise well equipped for larger groups.
Destinations: This tour concentrates on off-the-beaten-track, rarely visited destinations in northeastern Thailand. This we feel diverts tourist revenue and contact with responsible tourism into areas not usually benefiting as well as providing a more authentic view of the region visited. (Destinations include Buriram, Surin and Ubon Ratchathani Provinces in Thailand.)
A visit to Thailandís Khao Yai and Pha Taem national parks are included which in a small way encourages protection of the natural environment and provide financial incentives for doing so while a percentage of entrance fees to Ayuthaya, Phnom Rung, Muang Tam, Wat Phu and Preah Vihear contributes to maintenance and upkeep of the historical sites and environments as well as providing local employment.
Accommodation: We ensure to the best of our ability that all accommodation used on this tour employs sound environmental and social practices in terms of recycling, water conservation and product sourcing as well as employment policies.
Furthermore, accommodation is specifically chosen with location in mind so that at any given destination on the tour most key sites are within easy walking or cycling distance thus keeping vehicle use to a minimum on the itinerary. This also negates the need for any form of taxis during free time as guests can walk or cycle to any points of interest.
Our Bangkok choice, Nanda Heritage Hotel, won a design award for their commendable efforts to preserve, renovate and update a 100-year-old heritage building.
PeopleCommunities: Providing suitable, relevant information for our customers; to help them to gain a wider understanding of our style of tourism that focuses on learning, genuine interaction with the local communities, reciprocity and cultural exchange processes is also a key element of this tour.
All hotels are small and independently owned with proven responsible travel credentials and all (fully-licensed) guides and drivers are locally employed. To reduce transport all staff are locally employed. Lunches and dinners are all local style and take in local eateries which use 100% locally sourced products. Again, any inclusive meals consist of traditional fare so are heavy on vegetables and sustainably-sourced fish, light on meat and lack any dairy products.
By explaining our methods and the reasons behind them local agents, guides and hotels are encouraged by us to adopt further responsible tourism practices themselves and guides and drivers are provided with additional training in this respect.
Meals are provided in either locally-run restaurants or local-style cafes, market and street stalls. All products are locally sourced and all staff are local residents. The emphasis is also very much on traditional northeastern Thai food which we hope increases an interest and pride in the regionís cuisine. Additional food products - for takeaway lunches, picnics etc Ė are deliberately purchased from local bakeries and /or fresh produce markets rather than chain supermarkets.
Projects: Our Thai community aid project, located in Chiang Raiís Hin Taek District, assists a village kindergarten (for hill-tribe and refugee children) near the Myanmar border in terms of financing and materials. Day care provides basic education for the children as well as allowing both parents to work. Geography prevents us including a visit on this particular itinerary but guides will explain the scheme to our guests, facilitate contributions (in the form of materials and/or donations) and organise visits if guests so wish.
This tour also offers an extension across the border into southern Laos where we completed a project constructing new classrooms and toilet blocks for Don Khone Nua Primary School.
Information: Providing suitable, relevant information for our customers; to help them to gain a wider understanding of our style of tourism that focuses on learning, genuine interaction with the local communities, reciprocity and cultural exchange processes. To be aware of the potential impact of tourism on the local society, culture and environment, and to behave and dress appropriately with a respect and appreciation for local customs, mores and traditions and a respect for the ecology of areas visited. Our guides and leaders thus facilitate communication of our values to both travellers and local communities, educating them in sustainable tourism practices.
The tour operator is winner of the 2012 Tourism Authority of Thailand Green Excellence Award for Nature, Marine and Heritage Tourism, the 2010 Tourism Authority of Thailand Green Excellence Award for Best tour operator for Local Communities and the 2008 Tourism Authority of Thailand Green Excellence Award for Best Specialist Tour Operator