Responsible tourism: Volcano trekking vacation in Indonesia
Activity: Few vacations have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a trekking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints, although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people and leave an impression of positive cultural exchange.
Water: Water is a really important issue with trekking trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Lack of recycling is already a problem in Indonesia, so we suggest that instead of repeatedly buying bottled water, guests should re-fill a singular bottle at their accommodation.
UK Office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Community: We are big advocators of projects involving local groups and try to coordinate our tour to support them.We spend three days trekking Mt. Rinjani and here, local women have been re-trained as guides for groups going around the Rinjani volcano. By taking this tour, we are supporting the development of employment and income opportunities for this community. Since 2013, our local partners have also financially supported the Water for Sumba project, which aids another hilltop community with building wells, pumps and water towers to facilitate getting water.
Accommodation & Meals: Much of our accommodation is locally owned and locally staffed and we try on this tour to spread our commerce to a variety of hotels so that several communitites benefit. We spend some time camping as well, which is the least environmentally disruptive form of accommodation. All breakfasts are provided, but where meals are not included, your tour leader will be happy to recommend the best local restaurants and some authentic, traditional dishes. For example, at Yogyakarta, the tour leader might point out a local market where you can try the local specialty ‘Gudeg’ , which is a sweet stew made from jack fruit.
Group Size: This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.