TOUR EAST SUSTAINABLE TOURISM CODE OF CONDUCT
Our goal is to work towards a sustainable global society and to promote and highlight sustainable tourism to our guests, suppliers, and teams. As our planet is a valuable commodity we try to empower and enable travelers and local communities to leave a positive impact on the surrounding environments in which they visit, or live.
We work with our suppliers to educate and motivate them to deliver higher sustainability options and standards and to understand sustainable travel behavior.
Unique cultural, traditional and biological diversity contribute to making our destinations attractive and desirable, we therefore continuously strive to manage the balance of economic and social requirements whilst preserving these elements.
We will endeavor to maintain and expand Tour East business along ethical lines, embracing the three pillars of sustainability: economic, social and environmental.
Tour East has partnered with ‘Travelife’ a certification scheme for Tour Operators and Travel Agents’ in order to provide a more transparent, structured and monitored sustainability program in the future.
Our policy is to maximize the positive economic and social benefits received by local communities as a result of our presence while minimizing any negative impacts.
We commit to delivering our services in a responsible manner, whilst providing an innovative and varied product offering to our valued clients.
Whenever possible, we will work with local partners and suppliers who share our philosophy or are open to learning and actioning new policies, so they can improve and develop business practices and services.
Tour East is committed to developing and operating our tourism services in a sustainable manner and not only in relation to our destinations but also in providing for the health & safety of our teams, suppliers and guests.
TOUR EAST WILDLIFE & ANIMALS IN TOURISM CODE OF CONDUCT
Asia, as a continent, has historically had a vastly different approach to, and opinions on animal welfare generally, in comparison to the West. Some of this has historical, cultural or traditional origins, and unfortunately in the more recent past has been driven by Tourism.
At Tour East, we are committed to the re-education of what is acceptable in modern society and we do not wish to promote or encourage any activity that is detrimental to the wellbeing of any animal or indeed ecosystem.
As the governance and management of ‘what is acceptable’ have many variances across the regions of our business it is incumbent upon us as a company, along with our partners and stakeholders, to make a commitment and spread the word, in order to instigate change.
A comprehensive Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism report outlines the Five Freedoms we need to strive towards attaining for all animals:
|Five Freedoms||Welfare quality® criteria|
|Good feeding||1. Absence of prolonged hunger.|
2. Absence of prolonged thirst.
|Good housing||3. Comfort while resting.|
4. Thermal comfort.
5. Ease of movement.
|Good health||6. Absence of injuries.|
7. Absence of disease.
8. Absence of pain induced by inappropriate management procedures.
|Appropriate behaviour||9. Expression of social behaviours.|
10. Expression of natural behaviours.
11. Good human-animal relationship.
12. Positive emotional state.
|Protection from fear and distress||13. Absence of general fear/distress/apathy.|
14. Ability to seek privacy/refuge.
15. Absence of surgical or physical modification of the skin, tissues, teeth or bone structure other than for the purposes of genuine medical treatment/ manipulation/sedation.
As animals held in captivity are the ones most at risk of exploitation and due to their reliance on humans for basic needs. We are committed to working towards educating suppliers and ensuring that they agree to and comply with the following:
- Animal attraction providers have a legal license for the type of attraction or activity they offer
- Animals are not held under cruel circumstances
- Animals are not ‘humanized’
- Animals are not trained unnatural tricks
- Animals are not forced to join activities
- Animals are held in enclosures big enough for this type of animal that is internationally agreed
- Animals are fed healthily, enough and on the regular basis
- Animals have a constant access to sufficient and clean drinking water
- Animals are regularly checked by specialized veterinarians
The general advice is that visitors should avoid visiting any wild animal attraction (where they are captive) if its sole purpose is tourism and not conservation. Tourism activities should be developed to provide revenue for conservation efforts or to care for and nurture endangered species. Some attractions may claim they are contributing to conservation efforts but in reality are not, so always be aware.
For viewing animals in the wild and particularly Elephant Camps we are committed to working with partners to ensure that any camps promoted are indeed putting the welfare and conservation of the animals as the number one priority.
We do not encourage the riding of Elephants, particularly when the use of a Howdah (seating arrangement for multiple people) is used. Elephants can pull heavy loads with their shoulders, though their backbone is quite fragile and they can actually suffer greatly from carrying too many people.
Working with industry colleagues, suppliers and stakeholders our aim is to provide a safe, natural environment for tourist to view and where appropriate, interact with wildlife and yet preserve both their natural habitat and future, so they can thrive and be appreciated by generations to come.