Silk Road Discoveries

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Silk Road Discoveries was founded to help you explore the great pathway of the famed Silk Road, and the countries that it passed through. We devise tailored tours, bespoke adventures, activity based holidays, and cultural participations that fit your needs. We are a small independent company, founded by tour guides with a wealth of experience of all the areas covered, enquiring minds will appreciate the effort we put into making your trip the experience you deserve.
Member since: 21 Jan 2020

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

Silk Road Discoveries aims to spread the financial benefits of our operations amongst local communities so they may directly benefit as much as possible from tourism.
We encourage our travellers to purchase locally produced goods from local vendors, in preference to imported goods, to:
• Help keep the economic benefit in local hands;
• Reduce the fuel and water consumed through food production and transport;

• Employ local people producing these items and encourage their skills development.
• We follow this rule for our operations as much as possible.
We encourage the use of local service providers encourage them to spread their business around e.g. local laundry services, guides & drivers.
Fair employment practices
Silk Road Discoveries endeavors to practice and support fair employment practices with our employees and contractors. This includes: locally competitive salaries, training opportunities, volunteering opportunities, opportunities for career advancement, rewards and incentives and equal opportunities for women and local minorities where possible.
Locally owned infrastructure
We encourage the use of locally owned infrastructure for accommodation, transport and services where possible, in order to:
• Meet more local people and encourage local interaction;
• To help put profits into local hands;
• Locally sourced materials means less carbon emissions.

Regarding local projects we do have such program. In the local village in Samarkand, we are working with the community in there, to bring short hike programs, which means we hire local people to walk with our travalers, and we use local house for bathroom facilties, and we also support their kids with English languag extra classes. We pay their tuition. 

Environmental responsibility

Silk Road Discoveries takes responsibility for our environmental impacts and aim to manage our impacts on the environment, and educate our staff and travelers.
Energy Conservation
Silk Road Discoveries aims to create awareness to all staff, suppliers, local guides and travelers of energy conservation.
Some tips & guidelines we follow are:
Energy Conservation

• Air-conditioning in hotel rooms. Don’t use unnecessarily or leave on when out of the room. Turn down, to ‘fan only’ or off overnight
• Avoid hot showers where the water is being heated with cut timber or other non-sustainable methods
• Air-conditioned vehicles. Short journeys are easily managed with windows open.
• Encourage alternate or renewable sources of fuel for cooking, heating and hot water.
• Talk to hotel management about systems – for example, the cleaner not changing the sheets and towels every day unless requested.
• We encourage doing the sightseeing on foot as much as possible. Because many of our historical sites are located close to each other in Central Asian cities we walk as much as possible.
Water Conservation
• Learn about the water supply source and the availability of clean water for the local population in the areas we are visiting. Avoid waste or misuse. Be extra careful in desert communities.
• Showers should be kept to less than 4 minutes.
• Use a glass of water while brushing teeth or shaving instead of the running tap.

Drinking Water
Silk Road Discoveries travelers are discouraged from using plastic water bottles where alternative solutions are available.

Silk Road Discoveries trip-leaders will:
• Set an example by showing how to avoid purchasing bottled water.
• Work with suppliers and encourage the use of Water ‘bubblers’, fountains or dispensers where you can refill bottles with purified water for free or for a small fee.
• Where possible provide safe drinking water for travelers (vehicle based trips)
We encourage our travellers to Reduce, Reuse & Recycle.

We reuse our office paper, and when possible we do only electronic documents, we avoid printed documents as much as possible. 

We ask our travelers not to use single use plastic bags, avoid single use plastic bottles.  

We give breifing at the start of the trip on how to best behave, act in our special village visits. 

To eradcate the use of single use plastics we work with restaurants who buy fresh produce at the farmers' market, our hotels have bags that is made of textiles for laundery bags, etc. 

We ask our staff to walk to the office, as we are located pretty close. 

Social responsibility

Visits to small/remote communities will be treated with caution as the impact of tourism can have many positive and negative impacts on communities. It is our aim to avoid any negative impacts on the communities that we visit.
Some tips & guidelines to avoid negative impacts and encourage positive interaction are:
• Members of the community should be directly involved in the development, decision making and operation of programs involving Silk Road Discoveries groups.
• Financial visibility within the community is crucial.
• The program completed by Silk Road Discoveries groups within the village communities should involve local men and women and Silk Road Discoveries staff.
• Local people may give talks, village walks, cultural demonstrations or traditional craft markets. Guides provided by Silk Road Discoveries may help act as translators.
• Activities should provide opportunities for meaningful interaction between Silk Road Discoveries travelers and local people.
• All Silk Road Discoveries travelers visiting sensitive village communities must be briefed by the leader on what to expect and on appropriate behavior before they arrive in the community.
• Silk Road Discoveries group, if larger than ten travellers, should be divided where safe and practicable into 2 or 3 smaller groups, during the community visit.
The frequency of visits to any community must be mutually agreed between the community leaders and Silk Road Discoveries to ensure that the whole community is ok with the agreements and does not become financially dependent on our groups.
We encourage our travelers to be part of the culture rather than just tourists. Our company and tour leaders will do their best to make the whole experience pleasurable for the traveler and the hosts.
During our programmes travelers can join the local communities, participate in master class of food preparation with local families, visit schools, remote village communities, tradesmen at their workshop and do many other activities in cooperation with local people.

Travellers are provided with accurate pre-trip information on the social and political situation in each destination 

We always ensure that a local guide accompanies all visits to local communities 

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