Bali & Lombok photography vacation

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Bali & Lombok photography vacation


We maintain a home office to minimise pollution from commuting and heating. We also have a comprehensive recycling policy and use energy efficient devices and practices to minimise our effect on the environment. All papers, plastic and electronic devices which can be recycled locally are recycled through our local council. We have a policy to minimise printing especially for colour printing of photographs which uses a considerable amount of harmful inks. We favour low voltage light sources and actively switch these off when not in use. We also use individual switching to allow computer and other peripherals to be disconnected when not in use. All of our tour information and trip notes are supplied digitally, and we don't have a paper brochure. As a comprehensive adopter of digital photography we have drastically cut the pollution associated with film manufacture, processing and printing.

By promoting digital photography we are avoiding all of the environmental issues of film photography and processing which uses harmful chemicals.

Passengers are given information about protecting the environment when they are in Bali & Lombok. This includes information on avoiding plastic bags and also where possible, using purified and not bottled water. They will be encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle and we will work hard on the trip to make sure that they always access secure safe, non-bottled water.

We will also impress upon them the need to avoid unnecessary laundry of sheets and towels when staying more than one night in a hotel. We have timed this trip to avoid the hottest months of the summer in part to minimise the need for air-conditioning.

Litter is a big problem in Bali and Lombok, and we will encourage all of our passengers to set a good example to the locals by avoiding creating any litter themselves, and also minimising waste - especially the use of plastic bags. These are a particular problem in the region. They will be given a reusable fabric bag to use when they are travelleing, specifically to avoid the need for plastic bags.

We use an international adventure company to provide all of our land arrangements and handle bookings. They have worked hard over the years to be carbon neutral, and as we use them solely for land arrangements on this tour, we can be secure in the knowledge that the effect of our passengers and tours on the environment is minimised as much as possible.

Their environmental statement is as follows:
"We are proud to be a carbon neutral company. We offset all our global carbon emissions and offer a carbon offset option to passengers booking their flights through us. Through these schemes, significant financial contributions are being made on behalf of our business, suppliers, staff and travelers to internationally certified carbon abatement projects, equating to over AU$1 million since 2007. Since then, we have offset over 45,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. That's equal to approximately the amount of carbon that 2,796,047 trees would absorb over 10 years, or taking over 4,753 passenger cars off the road for an entire year!

We invest in internationally accredited offset projects that are based in our biggest destinations. These projects not only offset our emissions but they also improve the environment of the local communities by providing an alternative to fossil fuels and therefore produce less pollution."


Steve Davey, the professional travel photographer who will be accompanying the trip, is very passionate about the idea that photographers should travel sensitively and should have a positive effect on the places that they travel in. Passengers on this trip are encouraged to always act with respect for people, places, religions and cultures that they wish to photograph and especially to never 'steal' pictures. They are actively instructed in ways that they can interact with local people - and seek permission for photographs, which results in much more sympathetic picture, and a much better experience for all concerned. As we will be visiting many religious places information will be supplied as to how we can avoid causing any offence.

This is particularly important in Bali, as people are unlikely to show you that they have taken offence when being photographed or for any interactions,. We will make sure that people understand this, and that the onus is on them to behave correctly, without waiting for local people to let them know how to behave.

Unlike a lot of photography trips, we have relatively small numbers with a maximum of 12 people, which means that we can avoid swamping the people and the places that we encounter. There are times when these numbers will be divided, to further minimise our effect on locals, and to promote more positive interactions. The small group size also minimises our effect on the environment we travel through.

All of our land arrangements are provided by an operator who have a policy of using local guides, accommodation, and travel operators wherever possible. Although a professional photographer accompanies the tour, we also have a local leader for the entire trip, and sometimes employ a local guide to show us a particular place. This means that we can be sure of contributing to the local economy and providing work and support for local people.

We take care to use locally owned transport throughout and stay in small, locally owned hotels and guesthouses. We source produce locally throughout the trip, eat at local restaurants and encourage our travelers to purchase souvenirs from local artisans and recruit our on the ground team from the local community. This not only gives a fantastic insight into the country and a snap shot of day to day life, but it also puts valuable financial resources back into the local economy, creating jobs and supporting local businesses.

Through our ground operator we support an independently run charity foundation which aims to put something back to the places we travel in, and supports a number of local charities and projects. Passengers are encouraged to support this foundation.

In Bali, the foundation support the following an organisation called Bumi Sehat, whose mission is to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality, as well as to support the health and development of communities. In addition to providing education and training for midwives and community health nurses, their Bali clinic assists approximately 1,000 people each month.

Passengers are given comprehensive information through the trip notes and the initial group meeting about the social and environmental issues about their trip. They are informed about how to minimise the environmental impact of their trip, by avoiding plastic bags and minimising the use of bottled water. They are also informed about the cultural and religious issues and how to avoid causing offence. This includes dress codes and interactions with local people as well as how to approach the religious places we visit. In Bali, correct dress is vital, especially as we will be visiting a number of religious places and temple festivals. We will make sure that we take passengers to buy the necessary sarong (which is required for visiting temples) and will impress upon them the need for respectful dress. Anyone not conforming to these will not be allowed to visit any religious places with the group.

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