The very ethos of our style of travel is responsible; small groups on fully escorted tours, experiencing the very best of a region, a culture and a landscape, with a friendly local hand guiding the way. Our itineraries are designed to give our travelers real life experiences without compromising the part of the world we are exploring; to travel responsibly is at the heart of our commitment as a global tour operator.
On this fantastic journey through the highlights of Northern India you can be sure that as well as a fascinating trip staying in comfortable hotels, you will be on a tour that will tread lightly, support local industry and initiative and help provide employment opportunities for the locals whose services we utilise. Through our policy on employing professional, local leaders to guide our groups, you will also benefit from a greater personal understanding of the history, culture and traditions of this vibrant and intriguing region.
The comfortable accommodations that we use throughout this trip are all reflective of the region through which we are traveling. The staff are all recruited from local communities and they give a great insight into the way of life in the region both past and present. We will travel on a combination of private vehicles and local transport, including journeys by boat, cycle rickshaw, the Delhi metro system and express train; using local transport is perhaps one of the best and most exciting ways to see a destination as well as being one of the most responsible.
Our emphasis on tour is real life experiences. To this end, our groups will get a lot of opportunity to discover India through its amazing food. From produce purchased from local vendors, snacks en route, to meals in traditional, regional restaurants, we will be supporting the local economy every step of the way.
Cultural interaction is a big part of this trip, and your group leader will be on hand throughout to gently guide the group when it comes to social interaction. Much of India is fairly conservative, particularly outside of the major cities where we encourage our travelers to dress modestly and respect the customs and traditions of a region. On this itinerary, we visit pilgrimage sites in Varanasi, the oldest mosque in Delhi, Sikh temples and dine with a local family, itís vital that our group travel with a responsible outlook on cultural interaction, and make use of their leader to guide the way.
India is one of the most exciting, colourful and inspirational countries on Earth, however some areas are not renowned for their cleanliness. We encourage all our travelers not to make this very real problem worse. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with the appropriate disposal of rubbish en route and we encourage all our travelers to use refillable water bottles with purification tablets rather than adding to the problem by purchasing a copious number of plastic bottles of water.
In addition to these elements on tour, we are also very aware of the negative effect carbon emissions have on our environment. We operate a carbon neutral policy; offsetting the ground emissions of all our passengers on all our trips. On this journey through Northern India, that equates to 750kgs of carbon offset per passenger, per departure! We also offer all our travelers the opportunity to offset the cost of their international travel with us. Since 2007 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!
As a company we acknowledge that our responsibilities donít stop when our tours end and on the way to Orchha you will visit one of the projects supported by our not-for-profit foundation. Taragram is a unique papermaking plant, set up to give tribal women from the area a chance to work outside the traditional areas normally afforded to them. All the paper is made from recycled clothing and wood pulp. Our foundation has been in operation for over 12 years and has distributed over AU$3 million to more than 70 non-government organisations since 2002. Donations come from our travelers and are then matched by us dollar for dollar.