Sustainable Approach

Sustainability is a word that has gained lots of attention the past few years. Traveling is in many ways not a very sustainable activity from an environmental point of view. However, on social and economic level, travel can contribute much to the development of a more sustainable environment. If done the right way:

  • Guests should have an amazing experience and gain social and cultural knowledge
  • Hosts should socially and economically benefit

As a travel company, we are able to contribute in many different ways to sustainable development in our destinations. In and outside of our offices we are dedicated to minimize our impact. Our offices follow strongly the principles of:

  • Use recycled paper
  • Use refillable bottles for drinking water (for office and on tours use)
  • Reduce plastic use
  • Offer clients re-usable gifts
  • Reduce printing
  • Refill cartridges
  • Work with power saving appliances

By implementing these internal principles we also teach our team inside the office and in the field (guide and drivers) to acknowledge the waste problem and minimize waste on all levels as much as we can. Our impact outside of the offices may be considered far greater though.

  • Animal welfare; we do not endorse or offer any activity that seems in the slightest way harmful. All of the elephant camps and wildlife areas we include are run by well-managed (international) NGO’s or governments
  • Professional training; all our guides and drivers, but also other suppliers such as homestays or hotels in rural areas, receive training that meet the international standards for tourism
  • Community training; developing tours in rural areas means that we need to build capacity among people who previously may not have been aware of issues such as food safety, environmental protection, animal protection or adhering to international tourism standards. Bespoke Laos actively spends time in the field to train these people to become more aware of their own environment and life standards to also increase their livelihoods
  • Responsible tourism network; Bespoke Laos is a member of different local tourism networks in each of its destinations, with the common purpose to improve the quality of tourism and experience
  • Suppliers; Part of being a responsible operator is that we contract only sustainable businesses around the region who invest time and money into social development, environmental protection and animal welfare. We select our partners carefully and based on a good and trustful reputation
  • Social development projects; in several places around the region we support projects related to education and social welfare. We do not actively visit schools but contribute in different ways to the development of the children by donating computers, money and offering advice to schools for example. In communities we focus on training and reinvestment and distribution of (economical) benefits and ensure that through community projects, the benefits are shared equally among the community
  • Employment; We contract people according the local labor law, paying them well above minimum industry wage and offering good secondary benefits. Also suppliers such as guides, drivers and cooks are receiving proper benefits. We do not solicit with larger car rental companies for example and rather hire an individual with a car to spread the economic benefits further in order to service a deeper meaning

What we can offer you within our destinations is part of who we are and what we do and how we vow to support the people who live in our destinations. As a guest to one of our destinations you can help with a more sustainable and/or responsible approach by:

  • Taking a bike or going on a hike; In many of our destinations we have amazing hiking, biking, kayaking or canoeing activities to take part in. These activities allow you to really get off the beaten track and learn more about the local culture, flora and fauna
  • Eating at social enterprises; In each of the countries we are active, you can find social enterprises that contribute to the development of local (underprivileged youth)
  • Using community services; support the local people and stay at a homestay, rent a bike locally or go on a hike with a ranger
  • Visiting a project; together with a guide you can visit a local school and meet with the director, talk with a monk at a pagoda, visit wildlife rescue centers or demining NGO’s. There are so many good causes we can bring you to. Your visit would already be a reward to these projects
  • Getting your hands dirty; Help out yourself renovating a school or building a school, or if your time is more restrained, install a water filter or pump at a school or home
  • Trusting our judgment; We do not always know best, but we do know what is going on in our region. If your travel ideas do not meet our travel philosophy, we will inform you. You are in no way obliged to follow our philosophy, but we may be able to change your ideas with good arguments
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