Flores and Komodo tour in Indonesia

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2019: 3 Sep
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Flores and Komodo tour in Indonesia

Environment

WLT Wildlife Trust: The Selective Earth Programme with the World Land Trust. We believe that for ‘carbon offsetting’ to be effective, it needs to be implemented as part of a broader set of responsible actions, otherwise it distracts from the real impact of flying, on both the developing country and the developed country. In order to truly contribute towards a healthier planet, we believe that putting our efforts into travelling responsibly and donating towards conservation projects is a more responsible action than simply offsetting, which is why we’ve put together the Selective Earth Programme, which offers all our clients the opportunity to not only reduce their carbon footprint when flying, but also contribute towards conservation projects in Asia.

To do this, we have teamed up with World Land Trust (WLT), an international conservation charity who we believe offer a correctly priced and effective solution to reducing the carbon impact of flights, through actively conserving rainforest whilst supporting local communities. We work closely with the Trust to identify which project needs the most funding at what time, to ensure our donations are making a difference. We are currently contributing towards the conservation of the Khe Nuoc Trong forest, in Vietnam, as well as planting fruit trees in the surrounding communities, with £25,000 pledged in total.

Minimize plastic usage: We launched our One Bottle At A Time initiative to replace disposable plastic water bottles with refillable canisters across our destinations. We also send our guests a wooden toothbrush to help avoid using hotels’ disposable plastic brushes, and educate clients about the limited recycling facilities in Asia, and best-practice regarding waste-reduction. Within our UK offices we operate strict recycling policies and make sure everyone in the office uses reusable crockery and cutlery.

Community

Remote Minority Groups: We are of the staunch opinion that minorities aren’t tourist attractions, any more than children are. All our holidays that take place in and around minority communities are set up with the locals’ best interests at heart and we work with partners who do everything possible to ensure that the entire community benefits from our visits. This Indonesia itinerary travels to the island of Flores, visiting tribal villages such as Bajawa, Bena and Waerebo where life has remained unchanged for generations. It has also been timed to coincide with the week-long Nggua Saga Harvest Festival held in the Lionese village of Saga, where clients on this tour are likely to be the only foreign visitors. These experiences are an excellent opportunity for clients to immerse themselves in authentic local life, but we are conscious that this does not have a negative impact on the local people and the income generated from these visits directly benefits the whole community.

Stay local: One of our core values is to collaborate with local, responsible companies and partners who share our focus, beliefs and passions. We work mainly with local guides, local operators and hotel partners, and will always offer small, local accommodation options to clients. Our holidays are designed to enable our clients to immerse themselves in local places and experiences, and we make sure that, wherever possible, the income they bring to a destination goes back into the community. We have developed a system that allows clients to donate any unused currency to local charities that are vetted and selected by our partners.

Local partners: We actively choose local guides and drivers throughout Indonesia, and work only with local travel partners. We insist that any travel partners we work with adhere to our responsible travel policies, and ideally put responsible tourism at the heart of everything they do.

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