Responsible tourism: China photography tour, Sichuan province
Small groups Our group size is usually 3-6people. Small group means we are less intrusive to the places we visit, we keep the disturbance caused to nature and communities to the minimum. This also means that each attendee gets a lot more time with the lead and guides. A lot more opportunities to meet the locals and understand their way of thinking, needs and life styles.
Conservation; We actively increase awareness and solicit against building new concrete buildings in old villages where traditional building material is wood.
While trekking we encourage our participants to stay on the paths, not to damage environment, plants or any other artifacts they come across.
We spend most of our time areas away from the main commercial tourist areas, therefore providing additional income in local economies that may not normally benefit from revenue from tourism.
Suppliers We use suppliers that match our environmental values. We encourage hotel owners to stick with traditional methods and to use carefully sourced local materials when extending or upgrading their premises.
We make use of local suppliers and services. These include locally owned and family run accommodation, local drivers, locally produced and prepared food. This ensures that the local economy is supported. We also only employ local guides. We do visit local community projects and remote schools where our contributions are greatly appreciated.
Ethically correct We respect people, their cultures. We approach people (where possible prior to the tour), we explain our aim and agree on a plan.
Fair trade We do not exploit anyone in any way. We do pay people who spend time and effort to make us have a great adventure a fair fee. We donate to places we visit to photograph like schools, family houses, social clubs.
At the end of our photo adventure, we encourage our participants to donate unwanted clothes, toiletries and other goods which we then get our local guide to distribute to local people in need.
We have had an excellent long-term relationship with our guides and suppliers and this helps to stabilise their income generation and so helps to create a more sustainable future. We use local Chinese leaders who are committed to responsible tourism and helping to preserve the way of life in their area.