The five Stans of the Silk Road holiday
Description of The five Stans of the Silk Road 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.
PlanetCentral Asia is a veritable treasure trove of history, with many great explorers, empires, tribes and even religions criss-crossing its lands. On this trip we visit a plethora of ancient sights, many of which have been awarded UNESCO status. As a consequence, the entrance fees we pay from our visits contribute directly to the upkeep of these special pieces of shared history.
The distances travelled on this trip are large, so when travelling by road we keep the size of the coach to a minimum, so rather than using gas guzzling 40-50 seaters we opt for more environmental friendly 15-25 seat coaches that use less fuel and therefore admit less carbon.
As a travel company 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 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.
PeopleThis exciting trip visits all five countries of Central Asia, a region where tourism is in its infancy, especially in countries like Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Here, the income we bring really helps local development particularly as we use locally owned services throughout the tour. One of the highlights of this tour is having the chance to get to meet lots of the local people we encounter along the way. We stay in yurts with nomads, dine with local families and even attend a small private fashion show in a local's house. We want to learn about the traditions and daily lives in these countries, and interact with locals in a manner which is both insightful yet respectful. Your local guide will be a great facilitator in this regard. Buying crafts directly from them cuts out the middle man and enables them to supplement their income in an area where the economic opportunities are few.
In Kyrgyzstan we are also working with the German government organisation ‘GIZ’ to help our partners train locals further down the supply train – from guides and drivers to hoteliers and restaurant owners. This helps to professionalise the industry in Kyrgyzstan at a local level and benefits all businesses that we interact with.
As a company 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 the UK travel industry body AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.