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Responsible Travels

We at Indus Travels offer small group and custom holidays based on the appreciation and respect of the local environment and people.

We can show you some of the most beautiful and fascinating places in the world, from Turkey to India, Sri Lanka to Egypt, handpicked to offer you an unforgettable experience, while also preserving nature and benefiting local communities.

We actively support responsible, ethical and sustainable travel through our business practices, encouraging clients to do the same and also by contributing part of our profits to support community projects in the destinations we visit.

We try to ensure that all our trips not only minimise the negative effects of tourism but actually have a positive impact on the communities who welcome us into their villages and often their homes.

Using local guides, local transport and local accommodation and paying fair wages, ensures that not only do you gain a unique insight into the culture you are visiting but also that as much of your money as possible stays in the local community. We understand staying in local style accommodation - or even as guests of locals - is also very important. We avoid internationally owned hotels where we can because we want the money generated by our stay to benefit local people directly.

Wherever possible we also contribute to community projects (helping to preserve traditional ways of life, providing education and supporting environmental initiatives) and, if practical, encourage you to visit or even lend a helping hand.

In addition to supporting local community projects, wherever possible Indus Travels supports the local economies by recruiting their guides and drivers locally. All are paid a fair wage for their services ensuring that as much of your money as possible goes straight into the community.

By working in co-operation with local individuals and companies, particularly in less-developed regions, we advise on any potential impacts of our visits and strive to minimise these wherever possible. In this way, those who travel with us are not greeted as unwanted intruders but rather as welcome guests.

Our pre-trip briefs include advice about our responsible travel policies and will encourage you to follow our guidelines. These include stressing the need to avoid wastage of local resources, minimising the pollution caused by leaving litter, and emphasising the need to respect local customs and cultural beliefs. As locals themselves, our guides will also advise and help you to fit in with social expectations. Our guides will point out opportunities to purchase local products and will alert you to issues of trade in endangered species. They are trained and briefed according to our Responsible Travel policy and will help you to minimise any negative social impact, protect the environment and to reduce waste. Issues such as energy and water conservation, environmental degradation, reduced use of plastic bottles, carrying out litter, etc. Special measures are also taken to protect the natural environment when trekking or visiting sensitive or fragile ecosystems

In order to ensure a minimal impact on the places visited, the maximum size of a group on any trip is 15. We believe this allows you to become actively involved in the lives of the local communities without imposing "foreign" morals and values.

In the office we use paper from sustainable sources and recycling facilities as far as it is practical to do so. We also reduce wastage by trying to keep our paper-based literature/correspondance to a minimum. Details of all our trips are re-produced on our website and available in downloadable electronic format.

Responsible Traveller'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. Go equipped with some basic words and phrases. A few words (even just hello, please and thank-you) will go a long way towards developing communication and understanding with local people.

Find out what constitutes appropriate behavior and learn about and respect customs and beliefs. Dress respectfully. It is very easy to embarrass, shame or offend local people by not covering up or dressing appropriately. Buy locally made goods 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 make this light and bright - don't go too far. Do not buy products made from endangered species, hard woods, shells from beach traders or ancient artefacts. Use public transport wherever possible - one of the very best ways to get to know the local people!

Ask permission to photograph or video - how would you like it if a stranger came along and took photos of you going about your everyday life (hanging out the washing, going to the gym or walking the dog)? Avoid conspicuous displays of wealth, especially in very poor communities where you are a guest. Remove watches, rings and expensive jewellery. Share your culture freely but don't impose it, and don't assume that people who do things differently are inferior - they're just different! Discover where the locals eat, where they go on their days off and whether there are any local festivals or events taking place during your visit.

If you want to give something, give stationery to a local school, or something practical - like a pair of warm socks, a needle and thread, or a warm hat. Try to give them to a person in authority and ask them to make a judgment on giving them to those who most need it rather than to a beggar. Don't hand out money, sweets or medicines. Save the environment - carry out litter, do not buy mineral water in plastic bottles (use a water purifier instead, where appropriate), take bio-degradable soap, burn toilet paper, don't throw away plastic bags, choose a hotel or tour operator that has a Responsible Travel policy. If possible, support organizations working for the preservation and conservation of natural and cultural resources and the rights of workers in tourism fields.