Responsible tourism: Primorye vacation in the far east of Russia
Primorye is one of the most pristine environments on earth. We spend time camping in this amazing landscape and make a point of ensuring that we do not leave any permanent traces of our stay behind, making sure that we take all litter with us.
During this trip we visit the 'Land of the Leopard' National Park, a reserve set up to protect the Far East Leopard, and the Primorsky Rehabilitation Centre, which ensures refuge for many different animals including Himalayan bears, Red Wolves and Amur Tigers amongst other species. The fees that we pay to enter these areas contribute to important conservation efforts. When walking through the parks and forests we ensure that we stick to trails at all times as to not damage the flora.
We work with our local suppliers to highlight best practice in terms of environmental issues, an important effort in a country where the environment is often taken for granted and green thinking is only just emerging.
Our philosophy is to only use small and locally owned suppliers, meaning that the income remains within the country and creates a real economic contribution. We also feel that the passion inherent within such suppliers means that your experience will be enhanced. We also try to engage with our suppliers on an equal basis getting the lowest possible price usually isnt the best outcome for local communities and is ultimately unsustainable. We aim to always treat our suppliers fairly and with respect; they are after all part of the key to our success and to us working together is much more than just a business arrangement, but an ongoing relationship that we aim to ensure truly benefits everyone involved.
We only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign tour leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. We believe that locals know best. Our local operators only use locally owned accommodation. This means your money stays in the area to benefit the local community. When possible we use local transport, (i.e. rail or bus) and we always use local restaurants, markets and shops and encourage our clients to interact both financially and socially with the communities that they are passing through. In doing this your travels are supporting and encouraging the development of local services.
We only work with operators who are as committed as we are to putting something back into the communities we visit. Furthermore, in order to allow our clients to make an informed decision on where a greater proportion of their money should be spent, we avoid including pre-paid full board meals where possible. Local restaurants and cafes then benefit.
Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travelers. This has much less impact when traveling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasise our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travelers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.