Because the environment is the cornerstone of tourism business, we have always been aware to not exploit local communities’ culture and environment. We ensure our tours are of low impact on natural resources, respectful and observant of local customs and supportive of local economies. Below are some guidelines on how you can contribute positively to the local economy, environment and society of the region you are visiting.
1. Travel for contributing to the Culture
- Respect Cultural Differences
- Assist the Locals in their Understanding of Western Culture
- Dress conservatively, especially when entering religious sites
- Etiquette – No crooking your finger to call somebody, no kissing in public, removing your shoes before entering a house…
- Photography –Still & Video: Always ask permission before taking photographs of people and respect their wishes if they refuse
2. Travel for contributing to the Society
- Conduct an intimate relationship with People in Visited Communities
- Buy and use traditional crafts of the local.
- Beggars: Give to the elderly and disabled since there is no social security or other way these people can earn money. Your tour leader can advise you further on this.
- Shopping & Dining : Please refuse to buy any souvenirs, food or products made from local wildlife – this includes snake-wine, bear, bats, frogs, turtles and sea horses.
- Supporting Local Communities
3. Travel for contributing to the Environment
- Rubbish – Try not to use plastic covered or wrapped foods when fresh options are available. Take your own bags with you when shopping:“say no to plastic”. We must not leave any rubbish in natural places. Pick up any rubbish that you see left behind by other travelers
- Drinking Water: In hotels ask if you can refill your bottle with purified water for free or for a small fee. Bring your own water filter, water purification tablets or iodine to purify drinking water
- Toilet Facilities: When trekking or in remote areas use the toilet facilities that are provided. If none are established, find a suitable place which is at least 50m away from water sources and people’s homes. Bury faecal matter and carry toilet paper in a plastic bag for appropriate disposal later, or burn it
- Energy & Water Conservation
- Air-con in hotel rooms: don’t use unnecessarily or leave on when out of the room. Turn down to ‘fan only’ or off overnight. This is better for avoiding sore throats and colds too!
- Air-con vehicles: short journeys are easily managed with windows open
- Avoid hot showers where the water is being heated with cut timber or other non-sustainable methods
- An empty room does not need light. Many newer hotels have the key tag socket systems that prevent this
- Walk, cycle or use human powered-rickshaws for sight seeing. Avoid taxis when there is a fuel-free or shared transport option like a public bus.
- Limestone caves – do not touch formations, as natural body oils from the fingers hinder the formations’ growth and will discolour the limestone.
- Fires – reduce deforestation by avoiding unnecessary use of scarce firewood.
- Soap – On treks, don’t use soap to bathe in streams or lakes.
- Wildlife: Follow the appropriate park regulations to protect wildlife. Refuse to pay money and encourage the local to release the animal.