Vietnam and Cambodia small group holiday
Description of Vietnam and Cambodia small group holiday
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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.
PlanetTourism is steadily increasing in Vietnam, and we therefore want to ensure our groups are having a positive impact on the country, and are leading by example. We do this by recycling and re-using wherever possible, and ensuring that all waste is disposed of appropriately. We manage water consumption and reduce waste on this trip by encouraging people to bring along re-usable bottles and by supplying a large tank of fresh drinking water on our coach, available for refills. We also include an overnight train journey on this trip. Travelling by public transport is not only a great way to get a flavour of the country and mix with local people; it’s better for the environment as it reduces our reliance on specially chartered vehicles.
Cambodia is a country with a difficult past and the more recent influx of tourists has brought with it not only much needed foreign revenue but also ecological and environmental issues. The Tourism Industry in Cambodia is starting to look at responsible travel in more depth but it has been slow progress. The country is considered to be one of the most environmentally vulnerable in Asia, having lost a large percentage of its natural rain forest through illegal logging with resulting soil erosion adding to the difficulties experienced by local people.
One of the biggest problems in Cambodia is heavy polluting vehicles that plough through the towns and countryside. We only use small, efficient minibuses that are much more sustainable, as well as boats where possible as a means of transport.
We encourage our guests to carry refillable water bottles which can be purchased from us before the trip. This reduces the need to purchase single use plastic bottles and more and more of our customers are joining in.
On this trip we stay in small local hotels in both Phnomh Penh and Siem Reap. We also do not include a lot of meals on the trip to ensure that our customers have the opportunity to eat in smaller local restaurants which has a beneficial impact on the local community and a positive environmental impact in that produce is not imported or transported over distance.
As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.
PeopleHoi An is known for the beautiful lanterns that traverse its narrow streets, glowing a multitude of colours by night. In our free time here we have the option to visit a local lantern factory, where we learn about the skills involved in making lanterns by hand, skills that have been passed down over generations. We even have the chance to buy and make our own, supporting the local artisans and their beautiful craftwork right at the source.
In Cambodia, we help to support vulnerable communities through business; during our free time in Siem Reap we may choose to visit the land mine museum which helps to support affected families and land mine clearance. In Phnom Penh our Tour Leader will organise a group meal at the ‘Friends’ restaurant, where young people with limited resources are trained on all aspects of running a restaurant. This organisation also has worked with our hotels to ensure children are not exploited in any way.
In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our UK Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.