Yunnan tailor made vacation, China

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Yunnan tailor made vacation, China

Environment

Our vision is to offer warm, caring, and thoughtful service to ensure our customers have an enjoyable trip to China. And two of our values are to “protect the environment and promote eco-tourism”, and to “respect the local people, cultures and customs of tourist destinations”. We encourage our staff to reduce the use of the fax machine, for example by using our email fax viewer, and to reuse printout paper. As we know, reducing use of paper reduces the felling of trees. The environment is important to us, and we believe we can influence others as long as we insist on our values when working with suppliers. We only choose suppliers who meet our environmental standards. After we have chosen restaurants, attractions, hotels etc, we put them to the test by carefully monitoring our customer’s evaluations. This continual review process ensures that we act quickly if our high standards are not maintained by our suppliers. If a tour’s duration is short, and it doesn’t need the use of a car, we encourage our customers use a bicycle or walk to appreciate the landscape. This way not only allows customers to enjoy the scenery better, but also reduces carbon dioxide emissions. As global warming is getting worse, we recognize we must do everything reasonably possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We advertise and facilitate train transport in China, a lower carbon footprint option than flying. We specialize in tailor-made and customized tours, most of which are arranged in small private groups. Keeping tour groups small reduces the impact of tourism on the environment, e.g. no noise pollution from loud hailers, and smaller vehicles mean less damage to roads.

Community

We are proud and happy to have formed a partnership with a local NGO — Helping Hands Volunteer Association, which operates a residential care facility to assist orphans in our community. We have sponsored Helping Hands for many years. We have been giving 10 yuan to Helping Hands for every person who travels with us this year. When you travel with us you already have made a donation to the disadvantaged children in our local community.

We employ more local people and use more local products and services than foreign tour operators, and we pay better salaries (including to tour guides and supplier agencies in other cities) than other Chinese operators. This benefits local Chinese economies and contributes to a better social environment in the areas our customers visit.

Before arrival at your tourist destination, our travel advisor will inform you about the local wildlife, environment and culture, which along with following the local guide’s advice,will help you keep in harmony with the local environment.
Our China Guide pages on our website provide information on local wildlife and how to respect the local people.

Reviews of Yunnan tailor made vacation, China

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 19 Nov 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The museums in Chengdu, Kunming and Shanghai (all outstanding), and the monasteries and temples particularly Ganden Sumtseling Monastery near Shangri La.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Book your own accommodation ( in hostels or inns) and arrange all your own meals; this saved us a lot of money and enabled us to escape from the international tourist bubble.
Regard your itinerary with the vacation provider as a legal document, and make sure it specifies EVERYTHING you wish to see as there will be no flexibility to add things ( and conversely, no refunds for things you subsequently decide to leave out). Take a copy of the itinerary with you; we found the Chinese version our guides were working from omitted many things in the English version although the latter was honored.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


All the sites we visited were very very touristy (largely with domestic tourists), and the local people were adept at exploiting tourists - for instance high entrance fees to visit villages and scenic areas.
The environmental impact of mass tourism in the rural areas we visited has been
disastrous.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Disappointing. The 'old' towns and ethnic minority villages were largely fake and felt like theme parks, while the rural environments were frequently marred by uncontrolled and insensitive development (for instance, the Tiger Leaping Gorge high level path is followed by a power line). We should perhaps have read the guide books more carefully before we booked!
The vacation provider is the inbound tourism department of CITS - long established, and reputable. However, the service they provided in advising on our itinerary was extremely poor - our consultant seemed to know little about the places we wished to visit and made numerous errors from ignorance or carelessness. However, once we were in China the service from guides, drivers and the Guilin head office was on the whole very good.

Read the operator's response here:

This is the supervisor, Karen Yang at China Highlights; we are really sorry for the
inexperience of our former travel adviser. We did have received more specific feedback
from the clients and worked with the clients for a compensation. We now have specially
assigned another travel adviser, Ling who has been working in travel field for more than
10 years. I trust her rich experience would provide memorable experience to future
clients.
Karen

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