Biking vacation in Pakistan, the Karakoram Highway

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Biking vacation in Pakistan, the Karakoram Highway

We passionately believe that Responsible Tourism can be of immense help to local communities; providing income, positive cultural exchanges and an incentive to protect the natural environment. Recognising that there is always room for improvement, we continually strive to narrow the gap between principle and practice.

Prior to our tours, we liaise with local community leaders to ensure we are welcome and in a manner that minimizes negative social and cultural impact. We visit local development and community projects specific to the region, encouraging our clients to donate and/or assist such projects in appropriate and sustainable manners.

Our tours are never more than 12 people to minimize any social and environmental impact. The itinerary for this trip, and indeed the whole brochure, can be downloaded from our website, reducing the need for printing in most cases.

Through our tented sections in Pakistan we adopt a “carry in – carry out” policy: we actively engage in environmentally responsible practices to minimize tourist impact upon the local habitat. From biodegradable soaps to re-usable water containers, we provide clients with the best information and means to help them identify and implement effective ways to positively protect local nature and communities. It is a vital ethos that can be passed on and abided by all, long after the trip has ended.

Non-organic waste is strictly packed and carried out and disposed off in city and settlements. Organic waste is usually thrown away. When camping a toilet hole is dug away from water sources and shallow enough to allow maximum exposure to sun and water so that waste decomposes fast. When on the move people are advised to bring back the toilet paper and dispose of it in the camp in the evening.

Although bottled water is preferred by most of travelers on cycling tours we do boil water and supply it to group members. They are encouraged to have individual water bottles that can be refilled when necessary.

We choose as one of our resting points The BT Inn in Khaplu who deliver strong support and an essential role in local Corporate Social Responsibility; known as SEED - Serena Environmental and Educational Development Programme

Through sensitive hands on experience, we encourage cross cultural interaction and education between clients and the local communities. This is achieved by limiting tour group sizes, which also minimises any social and environmental impact. We also assist in the development of local infrastructure such as rural pathways.

We make sure that where and whenever possible our tours positively benefit the local community. We stay at locally owned accommodation and visit cottage industries for local handicraft souvenirs, generating income for local businesses. We employ and train local guides, drivers and assistants on all trips to ensure that the local community benefits not only short term but with increased employment opportunities for the future.

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