Laos tour, off the beaten track

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28 Nov 2016
£ 1099
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12 Dec 2016
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19 Dec 2016
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02 Jan 2017
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16 Jan 2017
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06 Feb 2017
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13 Feb 2017
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27 Feb 2017
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13 Mar 2017
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09 Oct 2017
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30 Oct 2017
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27 Nov 2017
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11 Dec 2017
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18 Dec 2017
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Laos tour, off the beaten track

Environment

Bottled Water Guidelines
Bottled water has an immensely negative impact on the areas we visit, as they are not recyclable. We recommend purchasing water-purifying tablets or a water filter to treat drinking water whilst on tour. Clients on tour are made aware of water refilling stations where available. (There are many in Bangkok for example).

Leave Nothing But Footprints…
We stand by the adage of “leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photos” and encourage clients to do the same. We travel through remote, fragile eco-systems and their preservation is of the utmost importance.

Take in What You Take Out
We always dispose of our rubbish in an eco-friendly manner and ‘take out, what we put in’. We encourage our clients to take batteries back to England to dispose of properly.

Bio-friendly & Biodegradable Detergents, Soaps & Shampoos
Our guides only use detergents that are environmentally friendly and biodegradable. This practice is also recommended to our clients whilst on vacation and before their trip departs. We recognize that it is difficult to find some of these products whilst in the countries we visit, which is why we communicate to our clients before departure the importance of minimizing our environmental impact.

Purchasing Goods & Handicrafts
We encourage our clients to act responsibly when making their purchases, to not buy banned products such as ivory nor to purchase animal skins or marine life.

At Work in the UK
- We only use energy efficient light bulbs in our offices
- All paper, cardboard, plastics, and tins are recycled
- Our employees are encouraged to only print what is absolutely necessary and reduce/reuse materials whenever possible
- We do not have any printed brochures and aim to keep printing of paper materials to a minimum. We encourage our clients to do the same.
- Our staff walk or cycle to work
- Paper is sourced from sustainable forests and is 100% recycled
- Ink used in all of our materials are eco-friendly, vegetable based inks

Community

SAELao Project
SAELao Project is a community-based project based in Vang Vieng, Laos. Clients on our South East Asian Odyssey tour are encouraged to visit the project’s farm, restaurant/café and community centre. SAELAO’s primary purpose is to set an example of sustainable development in Laos, by using environmentally friendly methods (e.g. biogas, permaculture) and minimizing the use of natural resources.

Local Guides and Suppliers
- We employ local suppliers and guides.
- We only use reputable suppliers that adhere to the same high standards as ourselves.
- We use suppliers that train and educate younger employees to international standards, gaining international certifications thus raising the standards of the respective industries.

We insist on using local suppliers on our vacations, as well as using local guides. When visiting villages and communities we employ local guides and stay in the homes of villagers. Using a local guide with a good knowledge of English is a brilliant way to gain insight into a community and gain a better understanding of the culture, community and destination that we visit. This local connection allows our clients to interact more with the people of the community we visit, and vice versa. With more understanding of the cultures we visit we are assisting in reducing the negative impacts of tourism.

Accommodation
We stay in small family run guesthouses and at home-stays (the homes of local families), thus ensuring that money is driven back into local communities. At all other times we aim to stay in independently owned hotels.

Food, Drink and Local Products
- We encourage our guests to explore local options whilst eating, and to eat in independent and family run establishments. Not only does this assist in spreading out income for a variety of different families/businesses it encourages our clients to experience new/local cuisine and provides a genuine experience
- In circumstances where we do provide food, produce is locally sourced and we employ local cooks and cook assistants
- We encourage our guests to buy local, shop at local markets and purchase souvenirs/handicrafts and authentic goods that are produced within the region we are exploring.

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