Responsible tourism: Arctic wildlife vacation, Polar bear explorer
We always encourages clients to respect and appreciate the environment they are in; on this trip there are presentations in the evening. We reflect this in the running of the office in the UK where everything that can be recycled is and careful consideration is given to the environment.
We always ensure that clients are aware that polar bears are dangerous and wild animals. Clients are given rules to abide to ensure they do not come into danger and they do not make polar bears associate humans with food. A donation from each trip sold goes to helping preserve Polar Bears and the environment in which they live.
Wherever possible we use environmentally friendly local accommodation in Svalbard. It is not always possible to find eco-friendly accommodation in some remote destinations; if this is the case then we make every effort to alert the management of the accommodation in question to ways of improving their service with the environment in mind. We look to use locally owned hotels that employ staff from the local area.
All trips to Svalbard are approved by the Sysselmannen (Governor of Svalbard) ensuring that they are running responsible tourism practices. It is also necessary to have qualified guides that are using sustainable practices with all wildlife. We ensure that we respect distances between us and the wildlife at all times. If polar bears are present then local guides are fully qualified and trained to try and scare them away.
When on excursions we ensure that all passenger abide by a 'leave nothing behind' policy. Any litter must come back to the ship and be disposed of correctly.
The aim of traveling to an area such as the Arctic is to educate our guests about how fragile an environment it is and that we are lucky to be able to carry our tourism in areas such as Svalbard. We hope that they can go back and speak with people and as such raise awareness environmental issues.
Our UK operations reflect our standards abroad in that we aim to minimise our impact on the environment as much in the UK as we would do in any of our destination countries. We attempt to do this through recycling of any office waste including, paper, plastic, cans, glass, refuse, in partnership with the Borough of Brighton & Hove.
Responsible tourism is the way forward for travel in the 21st Century; as we destroy more and more of our natural environment we slowly begin to realise how much we need it. When visiting destinations we bear this in mind and remember how privileged we are to be able to see the wildlife and nature that you are visiting, and, in a few years, if no action is taken, the fact that it will no longer be there...
The purpose of our safaris is to contribute to local populations, communities and projects. We give our travelers advice on how to interact with the local population, flora and fauna in order to minimise any negative impact.
The Expedition Leader and guide on this trip are local to Longyearbyen, the capital of Svalbard. Where possible we will always hire local guides. We do not believe in taking jobs from local populations in order to provide for western needs. We encourage our clients to tip all local guides and they are also paid fairly and to industry standards.
We use a local supplier in Longyearbyen for day trips and we encourage clients to eat in local restaurants to eat local food. We believe the best way to learn about and enjoy the experience of being on safari with us is to make the effort to mingle with the local people, taste new foods and try new experiences.