As a travel company who engages with various stakeholders in tourism, namely consumers, tour guides, travel agencies, hotels, transport companies, restaurants, and attractions, we understand our key role and influence in the sustainability development of tourism. Therefore, we are committed to promoting sustainability. We aim to follow, implement and promote good sustainability practices to maximize positive impacts and minimize negative impacts on tourism of our operations and to influence our clients and partners to do the same.
Our sustainability policy is divided into 8 themes. Each theme consists of a set of principles and practical actions accordingly.
1. Sustainability Management & Legal compliance
We commit to sustainability management, practiced by these following actions:
- To have an appointed employee who is responsible for sustainability coordinator tasks;
- To have a sustainability mission statement that is communicated to customers, partners and suppliers;
- To have an accessible and written sustainability policy that aims for a reduction of the negative social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts of the company’s activities; and includes employee related health and safety aspects;
- To conduct baseline assessment of the company’s performance on sustainable practices;
- To have sustainability action plan with clear targets, actions, measures, responsibilities and time planning;
- To develop documented procedures to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the sustainability policy, objectives and targets;
- To ensure company’s transparency in sustainability by public reporting and communicating;
- To ensure that all staff are fully aware of our Sustainability Policy and are committed to implementing and improving it.
We commit to complying with all national legislation, regulations and codes of practice.
2. social policy & human rights
We commit to sustainable internal management by having clear written and well-communicated social policy that includes the following principles:
- To grant employees the freedom of employment and contract termination with notice (ideally minimum one month) and without penalty
- To have health and safety policy for employees which complies to national legal standards;
- To have first aid sets and trained staff are available at all relevant locations;
- To obey national concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment;
We commit to practice human rights by ensure the enforcement of following practices:
- To prohibit discriminations, regard to recruitment, conditions of employment, access to training and senior positions, or promotion in terms of gender, race, age, disability, ethnicity, religion/beliefs or sexual orientation.
3. Environment and community relations
We commit to practice environmental protection and enhance community relations by ensuring the enforcement of following practices:
- Actively reduce the use of disposable and consumer goods;
- Purchase products in bulk, to reduce the amount of packaging materials;
- Set copy and printing machines by default to double-sided printing or other forms of paper saving modes;
- Switch off lights and equipment when not in use, set equipment by default in the energy saving mode, where this is feasible;
- Prefer low energy equipment when buying new items, including considerations of cost and quality;
- Comply with the national legislation concerning waste disposal;
- Develop and implement a solid waste reduction and recycling policy, with quantitative goals;
- Separate all materials which can be recycled and organize collection and proper disposal;
- Comply with national legislation of wastewater treatment, which should be reused or released safely;
- Contribute to the protection and preservation of local historical, archaeological, culturally, and spiritually important properties and sites, and not impede access to them by local residents.
We aim to achieve a tourism supply chain that is fully sustainable. The partner accommodations play an important role in achieving this, and are stimulated and motivated to adapt sustainable practices.
We commit to this by;
- Selecting accommodations that show proven records of sustainability practices and quality standards, especially ones that work with internationally acknowledged sustainability certification.
- Preferring and selecting accommodations that are locally owned and managed;
- Selecting accommodations that employ local communities;
- Encouraging accommodations to follow best practices/trainings on responsible tourism;
- Encouraging our key accommodation partners to fill in the sustainability questionnaire to gain insight in their practises with a special focus on the following items;
- Do they have a signed sustainability contract?
- Do they obtain any sustainability certification?
- Do they have a water saving program?
- Do they have an energy saving program?
- Do they have an energy reduction system?
- Do they use renewable energy?
- Do they have a waste management program?
- Do they have a child protection policy?
- Do they conduct any CSR activities?
- Clearly and actively communicating our sustainability objectives and requirements regarding accommodations to contracted and other relevant accommodations.
5. Excursions and activities
We value animal and community welfare extremely high and aims at tours that only leave a minor footprint. We are safeguarding the authenticity of the communities and the natural environment and are strongly against harming wildlife and polluting the environment.
We commit to this by;
- Advising guests on behaviour standards during excursions and activities with a focus on respecting the local culture, nature, animal and environment;
- Not offering any excursions in which wildlife is held captive, except for properly regulated activities in compliance with local, national, and international law;
- Not being involved with companies that harvest, consume, display, sell, or trade wildlife species unless it is part of a regulated activity that ensures that their utilisation is sustainable and in compliance with local, national, and international law;
- Promoting and advise our guests on excursions and activities which directly involve and support local communities by purchasing services or goods, traditional crafts and local (food) production methods, or visiting social projects;
- Promoting and advising our guests on excursions and activities which support local environment and biodiversity such as visiting protected areas or environmental protection projects.
6. Tour leaders, local representatives and guides
We aim at involving as many locals as possible by employing them in the tourism business. We stand for a fair and safe working environment that supports and respects local communities.
We commit to this by;
- Preferring to work with local tour leaders, local representatives, local tour guides, porters, drivers, cooks, and other local staff in case of equal ability, and provide training as required;
- Having our tour leaders, local representatives and guides inform clients on relevant sustainability matters in the destination (e.g. protection of flora, fauna, and cultural heritage, resource use), social norms and values (e.g. tips, dressing code and photography) and human rights (e.g. sexual exploitation).
We aim to maximize positive impacts and minimize negative impacts at destination to ensure the sustainable development of the places that we operate in.
We commit to this by:
- Support biodiversity conservation, including protected areas and areas of high biodiversity through integration in our product offers;
- Not promote souvenirs which contain threatened flora and fauna species as indicated in the CITES treaty and the IUCN ‘Red List’; or historic and archaeological artefacts (except as permitted by law).
8.Customer communication and protection
Customers welfare and information are very important to us. We ensure clear and constant communication and high protection to our clients.
Prior to booking, we commit to this by:
- Ensure that customer privacy is not compromised;
- Comply with relevant standards and voluntary codes of conduct in marketing and advertising messages, and not promise more than is delivered;
After booking and during holidays, we commit to this by:
- Provide information to our customers about the natural surroundings, local culture and cultural heritage in our destination;
- Keep a contact person and a telephone number permanently available for emergency situations;
- Train our employees and keep guidelines available, on how to deal with emergency situations;
- Provide our customers with information about commercial, sexual or any other form of exploitation and harassment, particularly of children and adolescents;
- Motivate our customers to use local restaurants and shops (where appropriate);
- Inform our customers on sustainable transport options in destinations, when feasible;
After holidays, we commit to this by:
- Measure systematically our customers satisfaction and take into account the results, for service and product improvements;
- Include sustainability as an integral part of the research into customer satisfaction;
- Have clear procedures in case of complaints from our customers.