Kazakhstan vacation, Back in the USSR

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2018: 2 Jun
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Kazakhstan vacation, Back in the USSR

Environment

Kazakhstan is a country where 'green' policies and principles are only slowly making inroads into the country so it's all about the little things adding up to slowly start to make a difference. The very nature of this tour as a shared transport, group tour helps to minimise the environmental impact of visitors compared to many individual travelers using separate vehicles. Many of the hotels used on the tour are locally owned and staffed and, while some of them may be larger properties, all are important employers of local people from hospitality staff right up to management level. Many of the smaller, more remote hotels make use of solar energy panels for electricity and our ground agents also try to use LPG as opposed to petrol in their vehicles where possible.

We are always talking to our local ground agents about the need to stress to clients the importance of basic responsible principles such as appropriate waste disposal, not to waste water, turning off lights on leaving the room in hotels, not replacing towels and bedding daily etc.

As a company we have introduced responsible practices in our UK office including paper, cardboard, aluminium and plastic recycling. We also support local UK charities including the RNIB and various charities around the world. 50% of our office staff use public transport (bus and train) and cycle to work. Management encourages this with their introduction of the cycle to work scheme which offers subsidised cycle ownership.

Community

On our Kazakhstan vacations all services are provided by local Kazakh people which includes your local English-speaking group guides, the drivers, local guides at various monuments/sites and hotel staff. All staff are paid a fair wage for Kazakhstan and all wages are kept within the local communities thereby supporting local people. Furthermore, by visiting these hotels and sites additional income is brought into the region, further helping to develop the local area. All meals are included on the itinerary and food is sourced locally whether it is served in the hotels or a locally owned and managed restaurant.

Every year at the start of the busy tourist season our ground agents provide training to local villagers involved in the CBT (community based tourism) initiatives on how to interact with and welcome visitors into their communities. The local agents also sponsor local communities to collect rubbish and plant local plant life in their region.

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