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Thank you for the best experience of my life. I couldn't fault anything on the trek and I had a ball. Our crew lead by Bir Sing were always smiling and helpful and this is what made the experience so great.
I never thought I'd laugh so and much and the bond that formed in such a short time between the crew and trekkers grew stronger everyday so much so that some of us didn't want to leave - it was hard to say goodbye.
World Expeditions is committed to responsible travel and true sustainability. It was a commitment formed when the company was established, and today, in the face of a multitude of threats to the environment, our commitment is stronger than ever.
Our Responsible Tourism Policy commits us to the following principles:
Genuine sustainability in all aspects of our business planning and operations
Specifically World Expeditions tour operations should be managed in a way where the natural and cultural values of the host region are undiminished in the long term. Where possible, World Expeditions engages in partnerships with local environmental groups and/or land managers to actively campaign for conservation or to promote environmental protection and/or rehabilitation.
Genuine Responsibility in Travel
World Expeditions believes that travel should be as rewarding for the host community as it is for you the traveller. We aim to maximise the benefits of tourism for host communities. This includes training and employment of local staff, using local suppliers and assisting in the development of sustainable local businesses.
We actively minimise the negative effects that tourism can have by ensuring that tourism does not divert resources away from local communities or drive up prices on local resources. World Expeditions provide opportunities for cultural exchange, where locals and visitors alike can share and learn from each other in an environment of mutual respect.
We contribute to the welfare of the host community. This is epitomised in our COMMUNITY PROJECT TRAVEL program where we organise for our travellers to spend time in disadvantaged villages upgrading basic facilities such as health, education and water access. World Expeditions strives to educate our travellers about the destination and its local cultures as well as providing guidelines on appropriate behaviour to minimise impact.
Protecting our Porters
Porters are an integral part of the World Expeditions philosophy and style of travel. We strive to take our travellers off-the-beaten track, avoiding the congested trails, to experience our remote tent-based adventures … this style of trekking is enabled by porters. Porters are as important to us as our travellers. Without them, we would not be able to run our quality programs. When we trek, the entire group - travellers, guides and porters alike - are a team who share the same needs for safety in the mountain environment. For this reason, all World Expeditions porters are provided with the following:
- A good working wage
- All food for porters while on trek
- Accommodation while on trek
- Work related clothing and equipment *
- Income protection insurance
- We also provide emergency helicopter evacuation if required
* The most visible sign of this porter protection is the equipment we provide: wind and waterproof jacket and over-trousers, 2 pairs of woollen socks, 2 pair of leather shoes on long treks and 2 pairs of canvas shoes while on short treks, woollen gloves, warm cap, sunglasses, mattress and sleeping bag and tent as well as cooking utensils, stove and kerosene fuel.
World Expeditions will stand by its commitments and abide by its porter protection policies because it is the responsible thing to do. We will continue to campaign to ensure that all trekking companies adopt similar policies because we strongly believe the welfare of the entire trek crew, from porters to the most senior guide, is the responsibility of the company that sends them out there.
World Expeditions supports the good work of two international organisations that operate to ensure the health and well being of porters, they are: International Porter Protection Group and the International Mountain Explorers Connection
Elephant Rides and Treks
For centuries throughout Asia the elephant has been revered as well as utilised for the purpose of logging. However in 1989 the use of elephants in the logging industry was banned because of over-logging, leaving mahouts to turn to the tourism industry for income. As a result elephant tourism experiences have popped up throughout Asia and it can be difficult for travellers to resist the temptation to have a close-up encounter with these beautiful and incredibly intelligent creatures.
In recent years there has been much research into the impact of tourism activities on elephants well being and although it is possible to have mutually positive encounters with elephants there are also many instances where the incorrect management of the experience results in a negative impact for the elephants. Because of this World Expeditions recommends that you avoid riding on the back of elephants unless you have done your research and are confident that the experience is putting the elephant first and the overall operation is acting in the elephants best interest. We recommend that you read this article posted on the Adore Animals website.
Throughout our global program we do not build elephant riding into our itineraries, except for in Chitwan National Park in Nepal where after decades of working with the local operator we know that the elephants' welfare comes first.
Any experience in the great outdoors cannot avoid coming into contact with some of the furry, scaly or feathered local inhabitants. Despite our best planning to minimise the risk to native wildlife, there are still some ways that our activities can impact on the ability of these animals to carry out their important daily routines. In the long term, these could be harmful because when they’re watching us they’re not eating, sleeping, courting or breeding (usually!) which is what they’d be doing if we weren’t disturbing them.
These impacts can be critical if the species is already at risk, in breeding condition, or in highly seasonal climate where animals need every minute of everyday to replenish their resources for an approaching winter or dry season. Please observe the following guidelines:
- Never touch, pat, handle or stretch your hand towards any wild or domestic animals. Rabies is prevalent in some areas and can be transferred directly to humans, so can tetanus, fleas, ticks and many other diseases or parasites. Bites or scratches can also become infected. Some diseases and parasites are directly transferable from humans to animals, especially to primates. If you’re visiting a primate colony, wild or captive, you should be in top health with no chest ailments.
- Never feed the local wildlife, it can cause long-term problems like obesity and diseases. In addition, it can lead to the build up of large aggressive populations of a particular species, which then become dependent on humans, displace other native species, and suffer starvation when the tourist season ends.
- Keep your distance when watching or photographing animals. We recommend a zoom lens. Keep a minimum distance of 8-12 metres between yourselves and wild animals such as seals, penguins, plains animals, etc. Your guide will recommend to you the best escape distance (for them and you!) for the specific animal and conditions as they’re encountered. Your guide will be carrying binoculars for observing sensitive, dangerous or distant animals.
- Shy, dangerous, rare or sensitive (eg. breeding, nesting or courting) or female animals with their young should be given more escape distance and more respect.
- Also be sure never to surround or crowd an animal, or get between mother and offspring as these situations invariably result in defensive and unpredictable behaviour from the animal.
- Try to be as quiet as possible when around animals. This together with dressing in neutral coloured clothing will increase the value of the experience to your group and limit the disturbance to the animals.
- Avoid purchasing goods made from animal products. The market for these items contributes to the poaching of animals, even in protected areas. Goods to avoid include anything made from animal skins, horns, bones, shells, seashells and some traditional medicines.
- Avoid any activity involving animal cruelty such as dancing bears, roadside