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29 Apr 2018
2599
excluding flights
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09 Sep 2018
2599
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28 Apr 2019
2599
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08 Sep 2019
2599
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Iran tours

Environment

During this tour we visit the Sheik Safi Mausoleum, the Church of Saint Thaddeus, Takht e Soleiman, an archaeological site located on a volcano crater rim, and Bisotun, a protected cliff area bearing many carvings and inscriptions, which are all listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Our visits to these sites help to support local projects to conserve the area's cultural and geographical heritage.

Our guides will brief travellers on appropriate behaviour, both cultural and environmental, and when visiting areas of natural beauty such as the region of Alamut with its hillside villages, and several paddy fields and tea plantations, we make a point of ensuring that we leave no permanent traces of our stay behind, taking all rubbish with us to protect these valuable tourist destinations.

Our local partner in Iran is instrumental in developing a regional policy for environmentally sustainable tourism and works very closely with the official bodies in advising them how to best implement this. This includes the preservation of some key natural attractions and ensuring that the gradual increase in tourism and its associated services does not have a detrimental effect.

This is a concept that is still very much in its infancy in this part of the world and we are proud to be working with such a respected pioneer in this field at such a key moment in tourism. This includes such issues as waste management, management of scarce resources such as water, and ensuring that future developments in the tourism sector are carried out in an environmentally sensitive manner.

We work with our local suppliers to highlight best practice in terms of environmental issues, an important effort in a country where the environment is often taken for granted.

Community

We only work with operators who are committed as we are to putting something back into the communities we visit. This may include giving a percentage of the profits from each tour to a foundation to help street children or local conservation projects. Our local supplier in Iran works closely with the government bodies responsible to help protect the impressive archaeological sites to be found here.

This journey takes us through local markets and villages where people still wear traditional dress. We also pass through Kandovan Village, famous for its troglodyte houses, some of which are over 800 years old and still occupied. We are careful to respect local customs and culture and our groups are briefed on this aspect of Iran. Travellers also have the opportunity to support local communities by purchasing local handicrafts.

We believe tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited number of departures - between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we hope to avoid as much as possible the phenomenon whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to tourism. We want to visit an area as friends, not intruders and to ensure that what we will see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.

Our groups average only two clients. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects.

Finally to emphasise our commitment to responsible tourism, all clients will receive a copy of our travellers code of conduct with their travel documents.

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