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You are at » Cambodia Tours » Responsible Travel
Responsible Travel
We promote Responsible Travel. Tourism is vital to the economic development of developing countries, like Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. In 2012, almost 3.3 million people visited Cambodia, 6.8 million people toured Vietnam and almost 1.8 million visited Laos. This represents a heavy injection of foreign funds into these economies. While this creates many benefits for national and local development, it can also impact against the environment and local cultures.

Asia Travel Needs promotes travelling responsibly to minimise the negative impacts on the local communities.

We hope you will follow these simple guidelines to help preserve the beauty of our world for the next generation.

Responsible Traveler’s Code
Find out about your destination. Buy relevant guidebooks and learn about the culture, politics, geography, religion and customs of the area before you travel.

Learn some basic words and phrases (even just hello, please and thank you). Normally our guides will teach you some simple local words and phrases when the trip starts. A few words will go a long way towards developing communication and understanding with local people.

Dress respectfully. It is very easy to embarrass, shame or offend the local people by not covering up or dressing appropriately especially when you visit pagodas, temples, or religious places.

In South East Asia, do not touch the heads of people, as they believe that is the place through which they connect and worship with their ancestors.

Buy locally made products and use locally provided services. Try to put money into the local economy by encouraging trade and the local manufacture of goods and crafts. Pay a fair price for the goods and services you buy. Haggling is often a part of local life, but keep this light and bright - don’t go too far. Keep a realistic perspective. What is a trifling sum to you, could be a significant amount to a poor family (perhaps making the difference of having a meal or not.) Your guide will show you companies that we know ensure the money is received by the workers who made the products.

Ask permission to photograph or video, but do not pay people for taking their picture as it can lead to begging. If they ask for money, please don't take the picture.

Please do not give children candy or sweets because many do not have dental care. If you want to give local people or children something please ask your guide for suggestions.

Avoid conspicuous displays of wealth, especially in very poor communities. Not only is this insensitive, you may become the target for thieves or snatchers. Leave your expensive watches, rings and jewellery at home.

Living out our philosophy:

We clean up as we go, ensuring no litter or garbage is left.

We conserve water and energy and utilise operators who collect rain water, and work to recycle and reduce energy consumption. We ask you to use water and energy efficiently.

We choose hotels, guest houses and homestays that are using local materials and in keeping with the environment and local style.

We encourage low carbon transport, using trains, bicycles and public transport for our tours, where possible, rather than small vehicles.

We have researched local services and products to spread the tourism income. The guest houses, homestays and eco lodges we use provide an income for the local community and are an opportunity for cultural exchange.

We support local projects and people through, fundraising and charities e.g. Loreto & KOTO in Vietnam, the Cyclo Centre in Phnom Penh. We promote the physical, emotional and spiritual welfare of all people.

We offer our local guides and staff good working conditions, a fair wage, and provide regular and ongoing professional development and training opportunities.

We foster good relationships between tourists and the local community to encourage a greater mutual respect and understanding.

Our style of travel is environmentally and culturally responsible and at all times we endeavour to give something to the communities that we visit. You will be reminded of policy when you book and at the start of the tour. We are trying to set environmental objectives and practices and help you play a part in reducing the impacts of tourism on both the environment and the culture in the areas you visit.