As a global operator, we take our role in the tourism industry very seriously. We recognise the impact that tourism has on local communities and the environment, and we plan and operate all our tours with this front of our minds. We believe that every tour operator must be responsible in the way they conduct their business, to ensure the welfare of all people and the conservation of the environment.
We are committed to operating in a responsible manner, incorporating the principles of sustainable development in the way we provide our travelers with real life experiences. We believe that responsible travel is about the attitude you take with you and the choices you make when traveling - to respect and benefit local people, their cultures, economy and the environment. For example on trips like this one through Singapore and Malaysia travelers will pass through regions where dress standards are fairly conservative, particularly outside of the major cities. We recommend our all travelers (both female and male) pack accordingly and wear loose, lightweight clothing so as not to offend, particularly when visiting religious sites. In the same vein, we donít have alcohol available to us during this tripís homestay element out of respect for our hosts.
This trip from Singapore and on through Malaysia has been designed to allow us to pass through as considerately as possible, while maximising the experience of our group. We use local transport where ever possible, from a trishaw when exploring Melaka to public buses. We stay in small, locally owned hotels reflective of the local flavour, and we stay with local hosts during a fantastic homestay on an island hideaway; our visit and others like it provides a vital source of income to our hosts.
All produce used throughout the trip is sourced locally en route. We eat at local restaurants, encourage our travelers to only purchase souvenirs from local artisans and recruit our on the ground team (including the group leader) from the local communities that we travel through. All these elements not only give a fantastic insight into the country and a snap shot of day to day life, but also puts valuable financial resources back into the local economy, creating jobs and supporting local businesses.
As company our responsibilities donít stop when our tours end. Our own in house foundation has been in operation for over 10 years; a not-for-profit fund that has distributed over AU$3 million to more than 70 non-government organisations since 2002, from health care, education, human rights, child welfare, sustainable development and in environmental and wildlife protection. Donations come from our travelers and are then matched by us dollar for dollar.
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!