Responsible tourism: Bolivia, Chile and Argentina vacation
Water – At some destinations on this tour, such as the Atacama Desert in Chile, water is often in short supply and tourism can put pressure on this service which can in turn reduce the supplies available to local people. In order to mitigate this, we inform clients about the availability of hot water, the scarcity of any water in a particular area, tips on how they can reduce their use and wastage, and what is and isn’t flushable in the local plumbing system. The sewer systems in the countries visited on this tour are not able to cope with non-human waste; blockages can cause floods which deprive local people of their vital services and create extra costs. On this tour our clients may be asked by tour leaders to take a short shower rather than a bath, to turn the tap off while brushing teeth or shaving, to put a plug in the basin at other times to reduce water use and wastage, and to reconsider whether they need new towels every day and let the hotel know if they would prefer to reuse their towels which would reduce the amount of water used.
Energy – Our administrative offices endeavour to be environmentally friendly through practicing energy conservation wherever possible. We try to source office and kitchen equipment that has been proven to use electricity efficiently and has energy saving functions. We turn off appliances overnight, we use energy efficient strip lighting wherever possible, and we encourage staff to turn lights off when natural light is sufficient in a room. Heating/air conditioning is turned off at night and over the weekends to save energy.
Friends & Neighbours – On this tour we ensure that local economies benefit from our business by using locally owned and managed accommodation and employing local people as expert guides. Tour leaders will encourage clients to eat at locally-owned restaurants rather than global multinational chains they’re familiar with at home. As well as providing clients with a more authentic experience of local cuisine and culture, this practice directly supports local businesses. For example, in Buenos Aires we recommend our travelers to try one of the many great local steak houses, and in Bolivia and Chile we encourage our travelers to eat traditional dishes cooked by locals at the markets.
Traveling with respect – On our website we provide our travelers with many tips for responsible travel that aim to ensure good relationships between travelers and the local communities we encounter on our tours. For example, for this tour we encourage travelers to research the culture, religion, traditions and local values of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, which will not only help them to appreciate the way the people of these nations live, but will also make their experience more meaningful. We also encourage travelers on this tour to learn some Spanish, as being able to say even a few words like hello, please and thank you will help connect the travelers with the locals.