Silk Road vacation, five Stans of Central Asia

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21 May 2017
£ 5395
excluding flights
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24 Sep 2017
£ 5395
excluding flights
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Silk Road vacation, five Stans of Central Asia

Environment

We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the environments we visit are not damaged or spoilt in any way. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to this trip and as tour operators, it is something we are careful to promote.

Your guide on this trip will have been trained to uphold this policy and all clients are fully briefed on appropriate/responsible behaviour whilst in wilderness areas. This is relevant on a tour such as this one for example on day 22 at Sary Chelek which was included on the list of UNESCO Protected Biosphere Reserves in 1978. As a rarely visited area which provides some of the finest scenery in Central Asia this is an area we will need to be particularly mindful of the environment. By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites we visit.

We are very aware of the economic, ecological and ethical impact tourism can have on ancient cultures and fragile environments. We realise that taking clients through this region can have a negative impact on the environment if not handled responsibly and as such, on all of our trips we go to great lengths to minimise the negative and accentuate the positive - after all, there are also many good things that the traveler can bring.

When you take one of our trips, we make a contribution to “Carbon Clear” – an organisation devoted to ‘offsetting’ or ‘neutralising’ harmful greenhouse gas emissions caused by your flight. This is done by funding projects across the world that will reduce greenhouse gases on your behalf through sustainable energy or rainforest restoration.

Community

In Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan we use local ground handlers - this means that all the operational costs go directly into the local economy and helps to improve employment opportunities in remote regions. By incorporating homestays, locally owned hotels, family run restaurants and the services of guides and drivers into our itineraries, we ensure that money you spend on your trip goes directly into the local economy and local communities benefit from tourism. Our engagement with the local communities can be seen throughout this trip in our use of local homestays in Tajikistan (on nights 15, 16 and 17) and Kyrgyzstan (on nights 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23).

We believe it is important to show respect for local traditions, cultures and history. For this reason our Five ‘Stans of Central Asia tour includes UNESCO world heritage sites. An example of this is on day 8 when we visit Khiva’s UNESCO-protected old town. Another example can be seen on day 22 when we visit Sary Chelek which was included in the list of UNESCO Protected Biosphere Reserves in 1978, one of Kyrgyzstan’s least visited but most striking locations.

In order to facilitate an enduring support structure for the communities we visit, and to show a commitment to these values, in January 2009 we set up a charitable foundation through which we can directly channel funds to both existing NGOs and our own development projects. In addition to organising ethically sensitive tours, having our own charitable foundation allows us to raise money – through the cost of our tours, charity trips and fund raising events – which can then be used to fund various projects in education, sanitation, reforestations and a number of other important issues facing developing communities.

We also support several other Aid agencies and NGOs around the world which are all carefully selected to improve the standard of living for the communities we visit.

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