Walking in Sri Lanka holiday
Description of Walking in Sri Lanka 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.
PlanetAs a company we advise our customers to travel to Sri Lanka with reusable water bottles, preferably one with an inbuilt filter that purifies the local water, and lunch boxes (for picnics). Both items help minimise the purchase of single-use plastics throughout the trip. Our Sri Lankan bus drivers also operate a small business selling glass bottles of purified water to customers. They collect the glass bottles throughout the trip and return them to the filling factory at its end.
On this hiking trip, we spend as much of our time as possible exploring Sri Lanka's wide variety of landscapes on foot, minimising our carbon footprint and impact on the environment.
Some of our walks take us to sites where the entry fees from these culturally important landmarks goes directly back into their conservation and maintenance. Examples include our jungle hike which culminates in our ascending to the top of Sigiriya's Lion Rock and at Polonnaruwa where we explore the ruins of this ancient site on foot.
We also visit and thus help to support the preservation of the national parks of Minneriya, where we search for elephant, and Sinharaja, where we hike in one of the island's last tracts of unspoilt primary rainforest.
When travelling around Sri Lanka we keep the size of our tour bus to a minimum, so rather than using 40-50 seat coaches we opt for more environmental friendly 15-25 seat buses that use less fuel and emit less carbon. In addition to this we travel by local train for two of our journey's, an environmentally friendly way to travel and a great local experience.
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.
PeopleWe have worked with our in-country partners in Sri Lanka for over 25 years, a partnership that has seen tourism in both countries grow and mature along with our own businesses. During this time we worked together with them to help recruit and train a large team of local Sri Lankan tour leaders. One of the reasons we prefer to use local tour leaders is that they can give a real insight into the culture and history of their home country by sharing their own stories and experiences. In addition we are helping to support them financially through employment, as well as the other members of staff of our in-country partners.
Our Sri Lankan partner is very active in the Rotary Club and Responsible Tourism Partnership (RTP) of Sri Lanka. After the 2004 tsunami our company provided funds via the Rotary Club to assist in the rebuilding effort and the RTP helped set up a traditional lace making centre to provide employment opportunities for women widowed by the tsunami which is visited by our groups.
The majority of the accommodation on this trip is small, independent and family-run thus ensuring a direct economic benefit from our visit goes into the communities we stay among. Accommodations such as the Blue Magpie Lodge near Sinharaja, the Misty Mountain Lodge in the Horton Plains National Park and Sir John's Bungalow in the Knuckles Mountains offer customers unique and characterful experiences.
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.