Our region of expertise, Indochina, encompasses some of the world’s poorest nations, where the gap between rich and poor is huge and the threat of destruction of natural resources a real concern. The rapid growth of tourism in Southeast Asia has led to rising environmental concerns including habitat degradation, the over-consumption of resources, and pollution. Tourism also introduces foreign visitors to traditionally sheltered areas which may threaten the ability of indigenous communities to protect their cultural heritage. However, tourism done responsibly can be a life-enriching experience for both the traveler and the host community. Furthermore, tourism fights poverty and brings hope. Khiri Travel, like many responsible organizations, believes that, with the right choices, tourism can enhance cultural understanding, respect the environment, and bring economic growth.
From our establishment in 1993, years before Responsible Travel became a buzzword, we have had ethics as the basis of our existence. Here, we like to put in words what we bring in daily practice, and constantly work on to improve.
Across Indochina and Thailand, our contribution starts by supporting community businesses. Wherever possible, Khiri Travel prefers to use local hotels, lodges, restaurants, handicraft outlets, arts and culture centers and guides to best serve our clients. In our offices we use local products where we can. In Thailand for example, our offices use only coffee and tea from the Royal Projects in the North of Thailand. The proceeds benefit tribal minorities.
The unique culture of local people and the biodiversity of forest and sea are under threat across Southeast Asia (and the world). Conservation of cultural and natural heritage should be major pillars to sustain tourism in our region. As a responsible operator, Khiri Travel values and respects the unique traditions and customs of indigenous groups. Wherever possible, we support and help sustaining them. Khiri Travel is also a member of Wildlife at Risk, which aims to protect endangered animals. We encourage tourists to visit the Wildlife at Risk sanctuary near the Cu Chi tunnels in Vietnam.
Climate change and the threat to the environment it brings along are global challenges. We try to minimize the impact of our tours on the environment. We have very strict rules for our guides and groups, such as a “zero litter” policy. Where possible, we use recycled materials and promote electronic communications to reduce paper usage. We limit our printed materials. We encourage our clients to use our web sources, such as www.khiri.com as their primary source of information about our products and services.
Across Indochina, Khiri Travel prefers to use accommodations, restaurants and small businesses that train and employ disadvantaged youngsters. Women need more empowerment. We hire them when we can. Likewise, Khiri Travel employs the physically challenged. Our offices in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia are co-owned by locals. Khiri Reach, our not-for-profit division is actively involved the sustainable community tourist project in Sambor Prei Kuk in Cambodia that supports local people and enhances their skills.
Support and input of the tour operators we work with, and their guests is of the utmost importance to the overall success of Responsible Travel. The Practical Information sheet per country states guidelines for travelers on donations & gift-giving, cultural differences, and tipping practices.
For questions regarding responsible travel initiatives with Khiri Travel and other responsible tourism topics, please contact our team via the form below, or find further details in this collection of responsible tourism articles.