By leveraging our position within Asia’s tourism industry to affect positive change in the region, our goals have always been the same: to leave people and places better than we found them and to preserve and protect Asia’s natural and cultural heritage for future generations.
Through the guidance of EXO Foundation, we’ve taken a big stride toward these goals by implementing a new way for agents to make informed decisions about their guest’s travels and ensure their visits have the lightest footprints and most positive impacts possible.
Following in the success of our sustainable hotel rating system, we’ve created five categories to assess our short tours and experiences from a responsible travel perspective. Those that were found to be responsible in one of these categories have been given a special denotation to indicate which category they excel at:
Carbon Friendly: Involves walking, trekking, cycling or alternative forms of transportation that avoid carbon emissions. In cases where the use of motorised vehicles is unavoidable, carbon emissions are automatically compensated through our voluntary carbon-offset strategy.
Cultural Interaction: Places an emphasis on authenticity and the respectful exchange of cultural knowledge through direct interaction with local people, experts and families who, in turn, benefit directly from visits by guests.
Social Impacts: Through the purchase of local products or services, these experiences provide exceptional direct benefits to social businesses, vocational training centres and other institutions deemed beneficial to local communities and people.
Local Benefits: No less than 30% of the cost of the tour is given back directly to local people for the improvement of their living conditions. A strong emphasis is placed on the transparent and fair distribution of tourism revenue which is ensured through the self-operation of all services.
Making a Difference: Includes direct financial donations benefiting non-profit organisations that aid disadvantaged members of society, promote local arts and culture or protect the local environment. These products also include workshops or activities promoting sustainable ways of living.
When designing holidays for clients, agents can now quickly assess the benefits of an experience or short tour based on what icons it displays. Furthermore, if they prefer to do so, agents can now filter experiences and short tours based on these categories to make it even easier to ensure their guests are travelling responsibly.
Watch this clip for a introduction to the rating system:
Read more about our new rating system here.
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