Walk the Great Wall and Xian holiday
Description of Walk the Great Wall and Xian 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.
PlanetThe way we operate this trip helps to minimise the purchase and waste caused by single-use plastic as much as we can. Before travelling to China, we advise our customers to take reusable water bottles, preferably with an inbuilt filter, and reusable lunch boxes such as tupperware to use for picnic lunches whilst trekking. From 1st September 2019 China implemented new laws regarding the sorting and recyling of waste. Our local Chinese leaders brief and actively encourage everyone to follow these and also to refill their reusable water bottles.
On this walking trip much of our exploration of China's villages and countryside is on foot, thus minimising the carbon footprint of our travel. We also choose to travel by the fast and efficient overnight train between Beijing and Xian rather than fly.
Our hikes include both completely unrestored and remote sections of China's Great Wall which see very few visitors and other places where preservation work has taken place and which see a greater numbers of tourists. These latter protected areas charge an entry fee, our visit thus assisting in the conservation of these special places.
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.
PeopleThe majority of time on this trip is spent in rural China including less affluent places far away from the standard tourist trail where any money we spend on food, drink or souvenirs helps support local communities. We only include breakfast at our hotels on this trip; in the evenings the tour leader facilitates dining out at family-run and locally-owned restaurants providing an experience of authentic Chinese cuisine.
Our Chinese Tour Leaders are passionate about Responsible Tourism and brief each group on arrival. They are also on hand throughout the trip to offer advice on how to get the best from each location without causing any damage or offence, and by contributing to the economy. In a country where English is not widely spoken, they help to bridge the gap between travellers and locals, ensuring that both parties benefit from the interaction. An example of this is near Gubeikou, where we walk through a small village of local farm houses, a great opportunity to see life in rural China up close.
Customers are encouraged to spend responsibly through the leaders recommending souvenir outlets that sell locally crafted products. In Xian we support local artisans through a visit to the workshop which makes miniature replicas of the Terracotta Warriors. Here you will witness and learn how they're made, and our purchases help to maintain these traditional crafts.
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.