Tonga humpback whale swimming tour
Description of Tonga humpback whale swimming tour
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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.
PlanetTonga has an abundance of marine life, Including humpback whales, pilot whales, false killer whales, turtles, spinner dolphins, common dolphins, and many varieties of sharks and fish. We encourage our guests to respect the wildlife and we like to also lead by example.
Some of these examples include..
-We follow responsible guidelines for whale watching that have been developed with the encouragement of local communities and local commercial operators
-We not do chase or harass the whales and we minimize disturbance
-Maximum experience with minimum impact
-Encourage guests to use established paths and respect all wildlife
-Ensure we don't disturb the balance of marine environment by disposing of rubbish correctly
-We donate a portion of each tour to a non for profit research organisation called The Ha'apai Marine Reserve
We like to reduce waste to keep the beautiful pristine environment of Tonga free of pollution in the ocean and on land. Here are some examples...
-Minimize pollution by keeping the smallest footprint possible
-Take all rubbish and use existing toilets
-We urge our guests to keep the ocean free of plastic and waste
-Avoid using plastic bottles and we provide every guests with a water flask
-We don't use plastic straws or cutlery and supply each guest with a travel sustainable cutlery pack
-Throughout the tour, guests will learn and be educated on respect and conservation of both the marine life and wildlife and environment in Tonga
-We work electronically and encourage the guests not to print . Instead we ask them to download itineraries and trip bulletins to their devices.
We debrief our guests on the importance of water saving while on tour. When in hotels we encourage guests to reuse towels where possible and only do clothes washing whenever you really need to. Guests are also encouraged to conserve energy by turning off lights when not in the rooms. We always recommend that our guests fly carbon neutral and are aware of trying to keep transport to a minimum when designing our tours. We do this by doing all our activities in Ha'apai Tonga and also transferring people in one whole group wherever possible. We like to ensure that suppliers we use are environmentally aware and do their part to protect the environment. We send them our mission statement to show them our values and encourage them to make a positive difference.
PeopleWe have done a lot of research on beautiful Tonga and have visited many many time, so we like to make sure our guests really get to know the place and support local as much as they can and spread tourism to those in need. Some examples of how we do this areÖ
-All Meals while on Tour with us in Tonga are sourced organically and locally whenever possible and all food is fresh and grown or caught on the island whenever possible.
-Our trip bulletin includes examples of places guests can visit pre and post tour to support local
Local environmental issues Ha'apai Tonga include over fishing, soil degradation, air pollution, water pollution waste management, climate change vulnerability.
Social Issues include health, poverty, discrimination, poor education, alcohol. We like to have discussions with our guests about these issues and how we can all work together to make this beautiful paradise a better place.
A portion of each tour goes to The Marine Reserve in Ha'apai.
The lagoon on the northern tip of Ha'apai is very important to the marine ecosystem, it is a nursery for a large variety of species and as such needs protection. Lobbying for protection of this area has been done for a number of years now and in 2019 it has officially been named and recognised as a Marine reserve by the government. All fishing in the lagoon is no longer allowed and they are working to establish alternate fishing sources for the local villages such as deep water Fish Aggregating Devices (FADís). By protecting these areas the fish and coral population will be left alone to grow and restock our declining fish populations.
Donations collected will be used to maintain, monitor, protect and police the areas. The fee will also go towards local villages, helping to fund community projects which will in turn provide more growth and income back to those same communities. They also plan to establish an educational component that will be incorporated into the school curriculum and address other issues such as pollution, plastic and waste management.
As we contract other businesses for each portion of our tour, we do not personally hire staff except for our own guides and admin. We do however use companies that treat their staff very fairly and employ local staff. We voice our opinion if we feel that anyone has been treated unfairly.
We absolutely support the local arts and culture byÖ.
-We encourage guests to visit local museums and go on local day tours where offered
-We encourage guests to buy local produce and locally handmade souvenirs such as the local arts and crafts
-To lead by example, we ourselves also purchase local arts and crafts
It is so important for us to respect all locals and all cultures whilst travelling. We also encourage our guests to do the same. Itís only polite to respect the people and countries you visit.
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