Responsible tourism: Nepal vacation on a shoestring
How our company is making a difference: We know that making the positive difference we aim to achieve will not be an easy task. However, our enthusiasm and commitment towards our travel responsibility mission is far stronger than any obstacles. We believe that in order to achieve any objective, the company has to have accurate policies and procedures for the employees and the guests to follow in order to reach our goal.
We have decided that the environment is a major component of any local community and any negative effect on the environment would directly have an impact on the lives of the inhabitants of the local community. Therefore, we have drawn up a strict environmental protection policy that all our employees and travelers have to abide by. For example, we recycle empty ink cartridges. A company collects them and disposes of them the correct manner.
As part of our Nepal tour, our travelers get the opportunity to experience water rafting. This is where we brief them well with regards to throwing waste from food or plastic bottles into the river. They also visit wild life parks during the trip and again, any littering could cause serious danger to the wild animals if they try to eat it out of curiosity.
We refrain from using "bush toilets" and we encourage travelers to only make use of the toilet facilities in the villages. The fact that we have these villages at our disposal means we use solar heated water for showering rather than water heated by burning wood.
For us, Responsible Travel is the only way to travel.
Throughout our long tourism business journey, exceeding 15 years of travel operation in the world destinations, we have succeeded in establishing strong links with the communities we are dealing with in the host destinations.
We believe that the Responsible Travel concept has to be a two-way strategy with both the travelers and the local community gaining benefits. We benefit the local communities we visit using a wide scope of activities that have a positive impact on the local economy, directly by donating money to charity organizations, financially supporting some local communities and by recruiting employees who belonging to the local community. We encourage our guests to buy local products and make use of services that people local community offer. We help indirectly through capacity building projects we implement with our employees and through the experiences and culture exchanges that take place between the locals and the travelers during our tours.
We promise to support the local community of every destination we take our travelers to. We will do this by employing local guides, using local handicraft shops and recommend shops to our travelers so that their vacation spending contributes to the people of that country. Furthermore, we provide each traveler with a tipping guide. By doing this we set a concept of tipping and gratuity for every person who will offer a form of service to the traveler.
We have also considered the social aspect of the local community and how to respect the customs and traditions of the inhabitants helping us operate our tours. We always provide our guests with all the information needed to understand the community they are visiting and we create valuable opportunities for the travelers and the locals to mingle and exchange ideas and thoughts.
The first objective is to operate our tours in the most perfect way possible. Our second objective, but not second in importance, is to benefit the local community, protect the environment, and have a positive social impact on the inhabitants living in our host destinations. One of the ways of doing this is to inform and educate our travelers on the cultures of the destinations. By doing this we aim to create a form of respect between the travelers and the local citizens who they will face along their tour. In Nepal, children should not be bribed with sweets and treats for photo opportunities. This may upset the parents and adults who are responsible for them. Also, a smile and a friendly "hello" will be greatly appreciated when passing by the locals. Also, Nepal is very mountainous and even the locals are born to trek the rocky terrain from a small age, but travelers who have any spare or used hiking equipment can sponsor it to the locals. These can include sleeping bags, boots, gloves, masks and any other old hiking equipment.
We educate all our staff on the real life situations of each destination. Sales consultants will use this information to inform potential travelers of the correct information and threats that they may face. By creating long lasting relationships with our local ground handlers, we are able to establish what needs the community has and through their information we can inform our travelers what they can contribute to the local community from their home countries.
Reviews of Nepal vacation on a shoestring
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
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 14 Dec 2016 by Emma Newlyn
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
At the end of each day, I could've easily said "that was definitely the best day". Every day of the trip was memorable and exciting; from seeing Everest, to seeing wild rhino and elephant in the jungle. The feeling of being amongst the Nepalese culture and getting a really up close and authentic experience is something I am very grateful to have experienced. Our guide, Ram, was an especially wonderful part of the trip, he taught us a lot and made sure we had a fantastic experience.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
- Bring a neckerchief: some of the locals wear them, and you might find it useful as Kathmandu can be quite dusty and polluted in the afternoons. - Eat local: some of the most interesting parts of the trip were venturing into local Nepalese restaurants to eat with the locals. On the way to Phokara from Chittwan, our guide even asked whether we would prefer the tourist food or the local food - we chose local and had the most delicious traditional dal bat for the equivalent of 50p!
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes, definitely. Our hosts were open about the fact that almost none of them had travelled outside of Nepal or even the neighbouring areas before, so they were so grateful we had come to visit them and help them make a living. I felt like any tips we gave were appreciated, and we were more than happy to tip because the people were so kind. We were surprised at how environmentally concerned Nepal was, and how they pride themselves on their organic tea and coffee, so anywhere we could support small family businesses or environmentally friendly cafes, we did.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
Absolutely fantastic. I feel like we really got to know Nepal, and we experienced SO MUCH in a relatively short time. Looking forward to returning again!