Guatemala & Belize vacation, Maya Discovery

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Guatemala & Belize vacation, Maya Discovery

Environment

We endeavour to provide the most professional travel experience possible. We achieve this thanks to the communities we visit, the local people we work with and the natural beauty and heritage of the countries we work in. We believe we have a responsibility to all of these, so that generations to come will also be able to see and experience what we and our customers do.

- Certified with internationally recognised scheme: Green deal (1st place 08 and 09)
- Rainforest alliance partners to implement and distribute to ST* (sustainable travel) best practice working with suppliers.
- Train our office staff, guides, drivers and other suppliers in ST* best practice.
- Set up, support and operate the only recycling program in Antigua
- Working to reduce our carbon footprint and offsetting all our office carbon emissions with STI**

Promises (for individuals traveling to Guatemala to read - in line with sustaining environment)

CONSERVE PRECIOUS RESOURCES:
Reduce.
When staying in hotels avoid having sheets and towels changed daily; turn off lights, air conditioner/heater, and television when you are out; take shorter showers.

Re-use.
Avoid repeated purchases of plastic water bottles; refill them where possible.

Recycle.
Viaventure has a recycling program so leave any cans, bottles and paper with your driver; ask them to take it to the recycle centre.

BECOME "CARBON NEUTRAL:
We have teamed up with Sustainable Travel International to assist in offsetting your international flight emissions and emissions caused by your tour. For $1 per person per day we can offset the tour emissions. Please ask your hotel, driver or guide to contact your reservations contact.

LEAVE NO TRACE:
Reduce your impact on the areas where you travel as much as possible. Respect wildlife, flora and fauna, reduce the amount of plastic and other waste you produce (refill water bottles especially) dispose of waste properly, be considerate of other visitors and leave what you find - do not remove / damage any cultural or historic structures or artifacts including rocks, native plants and other natural objects. Please leave everything as it was and where it was when you arrived.

Community

We endeavour to provide the most professional travel experience possible. We achieve this thanks to the communities we visit, the local people we work with and the natural beauty and heritage of the countries we work in. We believe we have a responsibility to all of these, so that generations to come will also be able to see and experience what we and our customers do.

- Developing a product range using community guides and programs as much as possible.
- Offering guests opportunities to visit and/or volunteer in development and community programs.
- Constantly learning and improving our operations in light of best practice learning.
- Set up the Viaventure foundation. Donate money from every tour sold
- Favour use of ST focused hotels and suppliers and work with others to improve their performance.
- Train our office staff, guides, drivers and other suppliers in ST* best practice.

For individuals traveling to Guatemala (Promises in line with supporting the community) -

PURCHASE LOCALLY MADE GOODS:
We encourage you whilst in country to buy locally produced products and services. We strive to offer this to you already within your itinerary but if in doubt please ask our office or your guides & drivers for more information on the services being provided and/or to direct you to locally owned businesses and cooperatives.

LEARN THE LANGUAGE:
We encourage visitors to learn a few simple words and phrases of Spanish before your visit. Even the simplest words and phrases will go a long way in allowing you to interact with the local people. And, no matter how little you know, it's always appreciated.

BE CULTURALY SENSITIVE:
Ensure that your dress and behavior is in line with socially acceptable limits within the area you are visiting. Be especially sensitive about taking photographs and interaction with children. If you are in doubt about what is / is not acceptable please check with your guide, driver, hotel staff or our office.

AVOID GIVING MONEY OR CANDY TO CHILDREN:
Giving directly to children encourages begging and can undermine parents who cannot afford to give their children such items. If you must give gifts give useful items- pens, paper, clothing, etc. We would be happy to channel your donations to needy organizations.

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