Footsteps Indochina Travel is committed to maintaining integrity, values & ensuring that we fulfill the core purpose of our business. Responsible travel is how we do that. It is about bringing you closer to local cultures and environments by involving local people in tourism. It's about doing this in a fair way that helps ensure that they will give you an even warmer welcome!
- Electricity & Energy saving: Aircon used, the temp should be over 26 degree celsius, we all use laptop, led and compact lights instead of regular bulb lights, use less plastic bags
- Water saving: Water pipe leak management, sign to remind users on saving and more
- Paper saving: Only print if neccessary, PDF version is alway available, print both side of the paper.
We use local guides as we really want to support their life. Make their job more interesting and loves their place. We all use local restaurant, boat, homestay, rickshaw drivers
We don't want our presence in Asia to add to the problem of excessive pollution in Asia and need to minimise our impact on the places by practising waste minimisation initiatives whilst on holiday. Adopt preventative actions on your trip by practising the three R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
We provide our travellers with accurate pre-trip information on the social and political situation in each destination. They are provided with suggestions of ways to minimise negative impacts on local cultures.
GUIDELINES FOR RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL
Try not to use plastic covered or wrapped foods when fresh options are available. The disposal of plastics and styrofoam is a major problem in Asia, take your own bags with you when shopping - "say no to plastic". When away from towns or cities don't leave any rubbish that you take in with you. Tampons and sanitary pads should be taken out of the area and disposed of appropriately.
Bottled water is for sale in much of Asia, but unfortunately there are few facilities for recycling the bottles. Actively try to reduce the 'consumption' of plastic bottles by using alternatives like refilling one bottle or bringing water purification tablets.
Energy and water conservation
Be prudent with fuel and water. Pollution, green house gases and other problems of fossil fuel use are escalating as developing countries strive towards having modern Western appliances, vehicles and production methods. For example turn off the air-con/lights in your room when you it's vacant, leave the air con on 'fan only' overnight. Use public transport where possible.
On treks, use existing tracks and stay on them rather than creating new tracks (especially in wet season) as this results in a series of footpaths that turn into erosion gullies. When snorkeling, don't touch coral formations as this can hinder their growth. Stick with the "Take only photos, leave only footprints" adage but then with sensitivity with the photos and footprints! Wildlife When visiting National Parks or reserves where you will be in contact with wildlife, please ensure that you follow the appropriate Park Regulations that ensure that wildlife is protected. Respect this even if you observe that other tourists don't and don't respond to local rangers offering to bend the rules for you.
The philosophy of Footsteps Indochina Travel is one of mutual respect towards everyone we deal with and in particular the local people; the use of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy and we are strongly opposed to any of our travelers visiting prostitutes while in Asia. There are wider social implications apart from the risk of HIV/STDs, many Asian prostitutes are bonded labour unable to return to their communities. Child prostitution or sex tourism is an abhorrent and illegal act that we strongly condemn. Any incidences of this will be reported to local and international authorities who will ensure that the person involved will be questioned, and if appropriate, charged.
Donations and gift giving
This is a difficult issue for many travelers who want to assist the local communities but are unaware of the larger implications. There are many ways in which you can have a positive input into the communities that you visit:
- Appropriate donations: Make a donation through Footsteps Indochina Travel to one of the local projects and charities it supports. We collect clothing, first aid items and ensure they go directly to the requested charity or project. We integrate social projects such as "Seeing Hands" blind massage and visits to street kids shelters in our tours to help our guests better understand the social problems of the country they travel and supporting the projects at the same time.
- Beggars: Do not give to begging children as it encourages them to make a living this way. You may wish to give to the elderly or disabled as there is no social security or way these people can earn money
- Ways not to give! Giving money and goods away at random to individuals accentuates an unequal relationship between locals and visitors, with tourists being seen as purely 'money givers'. Do not pay for acts of kindness in monetary terms (eg. paying kids for photographs) this encourages the development of a society that equates every human action as a potential money making scheme. Do not give sweets to children in the villages that we visit. Local people do not have access to dentists and there is the issue of turning children into beggars. Pens, toothbrushes, clothing are best distributed via a local charity, school teacher, or community leader. Avoid feeling that you necessarily have to give 'material' things, giving something of your friendship, time and interest to interact like a smile, a joke, a sing-song, dance or playing a game - this can be the best gift of all.
FUTURE PROJECT “ONE TOUR FOR ONE MEAL”
We have other branch name called Saigon Food Tour (www.saigonfoodtour.com). We offer local street food, and transfer by motorbike. Our aim to help students can find a part-time job. They can earn and share studying cost. Besides, we want to share 1 dollar (estimate one lunch for student, poor people, or in the hospital). This project we call "one tour for one meal".