Since the wheels of
The Oriental Caravan first started
turning, back in the year 2000, we have been
committed to a policy of minimum impact tourism.
We travel only in small groups
escorted by bilingual leaders who have an affinity with the cultures
through which we travel and a desire to facilitate meaningful
contact between our groups and the people we encounter. We actively encourage group members
to respect local people and customs whether it be by asking permission
when taking photographs or by dressing appropriately.
Our approach has always been small
scale and where possible we stay in local, family-run or private
accommodation, eat at small local restaurants and drink at local
bars. By travelling in small groups we aim to blend into situations
and environments rather than dominate or disturb them.
We always use small scale local operators and
where possible we also
employ local guides not just to aid the local economy but also to
gain a more intimate understanding of the places we are visiting.
Where applicable we also encourage clients to
contribute to the local economy by purchasing locally produced
In general, and especially when
camping, we work to ensure local operators and group members
maintain a minimum impact policy on the environment loosely summed up by
the adage "take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but
footprints". Back home at the office, in terms of administration, we
run a virtually paperless operation and avoid the production of
wasteful, ink-heavy brochures. Unless specifically requested all
correspondence is by email and tour information presented online.
We have recently set up links with
and donated to the Mitrata-Nepal Foundation for Children, a Non
Governmental Organization (NGO) founded in 2000, which provides
shelter, medical care and educational opportunities for
underprivileged children in Nepal -
www.mitrata.org . Building on
this experience we aim to expand our support for local charities in
other areas where we operate.
To see an article in the Responsible
Travel magazine about The Oriental Caravan's story please