How to Choose a Responsible Travels and Tours Operator?
In the past years, travel was pictured as a method to explore new places and new horizons. With the development of internet and social media, the purpose & concept of travel has seen huge variations and fluctuations. As of now, traveling has become much of a fashion statement and glamor for people.
With the recent surge in occupations like ‘influencers’, the number of people wanting to walk on the same footsteps as these people have increased as well. The most drastic effect of this blind fan following can be seen in the tourism industry. For instance, if a famous person post about spending his holiday in a certain place then his followers shall aim to do the same. Although it promotes tourism in the short run, the future is pretty bleak in the long run.
To prevent any sort of damage that may occur in the long run, a new concept is on the rise. This concept is labeled as “Responsible Tourism” or “Sustainable Travel”. In a simple sense, it refers to traveling without causing any sort of negative impacts on society and culture. This term was initially used for people who traveled alone without the assistance of a tour operator. As of now, this concept is also applicable for travel operators too.
With the help of the internet, it is easier than ever to get a thorough look at any company’s background and check whether they are functioning as per the required code of conduct or not. The most intriguing factor that bugs travelers is that how can I travel and contribute to society at the same time? Are the tour operators damaging the environment? Are the labors being exploited?
These questions cross the mind of every traveler. In this blog, we shall look at some checkpoints that can be considered to determine whether to choose or not to choose a tour operator.
Be on the Lookout for Awards, Certificates, and Recognition
The easiest way of determining whether a tour company is authentic or not is by examining the certificates, awards, and recognitions that they possess. No, you don’t have to examine the hard copy as the soft copy are readily available on the company’s website. The awards and certificates stand as solid proof that the company has fulfilled the required formalities and guidelines.
Tour operators receive these awards based on the quality of their adventure packages and business success. In most of the cases, companies with more than a decade’s worth of experience receive these accolades. There are some young companies as well that provide a quality experience. In such cases, you need to depend on your instinct.
Check their Commitment to Solving Social Problems
The tourism industry is booming, and Nepal has seen a rapid increase in the number of tourists too. The major problem that developing countries like Nepal face is social problems. The problems can range from child labor to kidnapping and many others. Every individual and organization must contribute towards the solution of these social problems either financially or non-financially.
In Nepal, many organizations have started contributing a certain percentage from their annual profits to the NGOs. Before choosing a tour operator, you can take a look at whether the company you’re choosing is contributing to society or not.
Compare the Price
When it comes to traveling, everything is related to money. As a sane person, you are always searching for ways as to how you can save a few bucks. There may be instances where you had to take drastic measures to save cost. Price is an important item as it reflects the value of service that you will be getting.
This service is bound to provide you with either a good or a bad memory. Before you travel, we advise you to carefully do research, and compare the prices between companies. Remember that you’ll get what you pay for so be sure to choose a company that has the right price and value.
Check whether the Company Staff are being Treated Properly or Not
This is one of the most important factors in determining whether a company can be trusted or not. If the company does not even treat its people right, then how can it even do justice to you the customers?
If the company staff is not treated properly, then it can affect their quality of service. Before choosing a company, we advise you to interact with the staff in the company and learn from them how the company treats them.
Make Sure the Company do not Abuse Animals
Wildlife tourism is also a hot topic in Nepal. Especially in places like Chitwan and Bardia, which are filled with endangered wild animals. The most common form of attraction is traveling on the back of an elephant. It may seem fun, but in the long run, it causes strain and damage to the elephant.
Before you travel with a tourism company, you need to make sure that the company you are travelling with does not partake in such acts. You need to choose a company that will take you to the animal’s natural habitat and the ones that do not harm it.
Find What Sort of Impact Company is Creating on the Planet
There are some travel companies, which do not respect the environment and damage it by throwing waste in public areas and forests. You should not travel with such companies, as they are a pretty bad influence on society. Some examples of a friendly tour operator include the one that does not use products that harm the environment like plastic bags. You can thoroughly check whether they are taking appropriate measures to reduce the level of damage in the environment.
Right of Guides and Porters
Guides and porters are an integral part of your trek as they will carry your stuff throughout the trek. They may not be permanent employees, but the behavior of the company towards them speaks volumes about the company itself. As a responsible traveler, you must check whether the company is properly paying the guides and porters and whether your payment is being given to the porter or not.
These are the things that need to be considered while choosing a responsible travel operator in Nepal. Although these points are just a small hint, it can be pretty useful in determining the core values of a company.