2 independent reviews for Sri Lanka vacation, small group

Reviews for Sri Lanka vacation, small group

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review 7 Feb 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

I really enjoyed the wildlife we visited a couple of national parks and it was just magical to see the elephants in the wild. We also really enjoyed the transit centre watching all the baby elephants being feed, bathing and misbehaving was an amazing experience.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be prepared for wet and cooler weather especially in the hill country. Local toilets are an experience, toilet roll, wet wipes and santiser are also handy. Get ready for the curry sensation!!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

NO, this is where I was really disappointed. I have previously travelled with Intrepid where they reinforce responsible travel but our tour operator didn't do anything!!! Quite frankly I don't know how you can sell this as a 'responsible travel'!! We were given a "say no to plastic" cloth bag on arrival but nothing was mentioned. I would like to see our tour op talk about responsible travel in their trip notes and on arrival. I would also like them to actively discourage people from taking pictures of performing monkeys or snakes. Educate people into not riding elephants rather than helping facilitate it!! Encourage their tourist destinations, hotels and guests not to use plastic bags. Encourage travelers to use a 'water to go' water bottle which contains a filter which means you can fill it up ANYWHERE, no need for plastic bottles!!!! These comments are aimed at the head office not people on the ground that really looked after us, but would like some support to say 'sorry can't help you with elephant riding as we don't support it as a company'

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Jewels of Sri Lanka was a brilliant trip we covered so much from temples, wildlife, tasty food and fantastic beach time. Amara, Ranjit and Indika really looked after us and gave us fantastic service.
Tour operator to respond to Q3 - 10/02/2017

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Jo, We are disappointed to read that you do not feel your trip to Sri Lanka benefited the local people or environment. We work very hard to ensure that we give back to each and every country that we operate in. We hire local guides, stay in locally owned hotels and avoid chain restaurants. We are unable to completely prevent clients taking pictures of performing monkeys or snakes, however our tour leaders do not encourage either of these activities and will not book optional excursions where these activities are involved. Elephant riding is not allowed on any of our tours. It is not included and also not available as an optional excursion in Sri Lanka so we are concerned if there was an instance where a client on your tour was able to partake in this excursion. This should not have happened and we will investigate accordingly. However, we are pleased that overall, you had a fantastic trip and I hope that you do consider us for a future trip.

review 9 Feb 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The variety of activities, cultural as well as physical. The hotels were of good standard.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be aware that when visiting sacred places shoulders and knees must be covered, and no hats or shoes can be worn although socks are allowed.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Good

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