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We are a small company with the objective of helping grass-roots tourism initiatives in Latin America reach world-wide audiences with personalized service. At Big Planet Adventures, we seek to facilitate the kind of cultural exchange that is beneficial both to the traveller and the people living in our destination spots. Our ‘Cuban Adventures’ brand focuses specifically on Cuba where we have small group tours that focus on experiencing the ‘real’ Cuba, using mostly family-stay accommodation and local guides.
Member since: 29 Jul 2008
How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
- Big Planet Adventures is actively seeking to continue the policy of employing local guides. At present 6 of our guides are Cubans living in Cuba and 1 is of Spanish origin and temporary resident in Cuba.
- We support businesses that are entirely Cuban owned as opposed to those that are a joint venture with a foreign company. Our promotion and realisation of tourism to Cuba in itself is directly helping the country and the Government in its aim to construct a socially just society.
- At the same time we believe in the right of individuals to control and improve their own standard of living and therefore support the legalised privately owned businesses in Cuba such as the private houses that we use for family stays.
- In our daily work practices, we support the ongoing efforts of the recycling industry and only use paper products that average a thirty percent post-consumer recycled content, and print on both sides where possible.
- We encourage use of alternative transportation, so cycling to the office is the preferred mode. In fact nobody at present in our organization owns a car.
- We support the organic urban market gardens (organoponicos) in Cuba – groups are given an opportunity to visit an organoponico, and also the chance to do some voluntary work in one of these community gardens.
- Travellers are provided with accurate pre-trip information on the social and political situation in Cuba in the Trip Notes that we send them before they depart for their trip.
- These extensive notes along with the ‘Responsible Travel Guidelines for Pax’ also provides travellers with suggestions of ways to minimise negative impacts on the local culture.
- The tour leaders/tour guides who carry out the job of providing the service we sell, are given specific training in Responsible Travel. They are provided with a document called ‘Responsible Travel Guidelines for Leaders’ where guidelines are given to orient leaders on Responsible Tourism principles, and examples of how these can be applied on the tours we run in Cuba.
These Cuba specialists have been running small group tours on the island since 2005, with a focus on cultural exchange and supporting grassroots projects.