Responsible Tourism Focus Bangkok, 28 February 2010
Dear Partner, Diethelm Travel Group believes strongly in supporting and promoting partners and service providers, who are actively striving towards sustainability; be that through water saving activities, community projects, recycling or energy conservation initiatives. This month we focus on the real â€žeco-warriorsâ€&#x;, who practice what they preach on the subject of responsible travel. In this edition we focus on a selection of initiatives, which are making a positive impact either on the environment or local communities around our region. The features range from resort groups to independent accommodation, to schools and education programmes, to wildlife projects and local community support initiatives. We trust this D-Brief will keep you informed and inspired.
Sincerely yours, Victoria Sertic Chief Sales Officer Diethelm Travel Group
.Our Core Values - Handprint .Community Support – Friends of the Asian Elephant Aman Aman Resorts Resorts Six Six Senses Senses Resorts Resorts & & Spas Spa .A National Concern – Bhutan .High Value, Low Impact – Bhutan .Hotel de la Paix – Cambodia .Taj Safaris – India .Elephant Village – Laos .Shangri Lao – Laos .Fair Trek – Laos .Ngemah Ulu Longhouse Adoption – Malaysia .Heart to Heart Project – Sarawak .Beluga School of Life – Thailand .Forest Floor Lodge – Vietnam .The Streets International – Vietnam
Our Core Values - Handprint
Our duty is to protect the interests of local people and the environment in all countries we operate in. To encourage our customers and partners to travel more consciously and responsibly. To make them more aware of the importance of learning about local traditions, politics, religion, the environment and wildlife, in order for Diethelm Travel Group to grow our sustainable businesses from strength to strength. We focus on technology to reduce unnecessary waste. Over the years, the company has taken several steps to reduce waste, increase recycling and lower impact on the environments we operate in. Some of these steps include: • E-mail instead of print and mail: simple documents such as invoices and vouchers are emailed, reducing paper usage, transport etc.
• SMS: our guides now receive their bookings by SMS and clear their expenses via the internet: this reduces travel back and forth to our office. • Look on the net: hotel brochures are a thing from the past. We recycle what we have and will not accept any new ones. Instead, we log on to the internet. • Intranet: a major development in “going paperless” is the set-up of an intranet with great search functionality. No more “print & file”, no more archiving, no more old paper. Launched in February 2010. • E-Books instead of print: open our ebooks on your phone or computer screen.
We have come across an interesting project called „Elephant Family‟, protecting Asian elephants and their environment. To raise funds, the organisers came up with the novel idea of hand-made and hand painted, limited edition ceramic ornaments. Diethelm Travel sent many to service providers. 50 percent of the proceeds from the sales of these elephant ornaments go back into helping fund the project. We are supporting the „Friends of the Asian Elephant‟ (www.elephant-soraida.com). Founded in 1993, they ran the first elephant hospital in the world.
Located in Lampang Thailand, their mission is to help and cure elephants that have been injured or suffer from disease and illness. The organisations main objectives are to make the living conditions of these rehabilitating elephants as close to their natural habitat as possible; to study the elephants, to raise data and to educate local people on the role they play as well as to raise the much needed funds for the cause. Statistics on the Asian elephant are alarming and if we don‟t act now, this most majestic creature may soon become extinct.
Aman Resorts owns and manages 24 small luxury resorts and is a strong believer of „less is more‟. Each resort is dedicated to sustainable development and offers its visitors a holistic holiday experience by combining luxury with the unique heritage and culture of the resort location. Aman at Summer Palace, for example, is adjacent to Beijing‟s iconic 250 year old World Heritage site. The original building was used by guests of the Palace waiting for an audience with the Empress. All resort locations have an historical background and importance in common. Aman Resorts offers its guests the opportunity to explore local traditions and cultures by taking them on special guided tours to the surrounding areas. This interaction with the local population takes place on several levels. Each resort uses
locally sourced materials for its interior design, reflecting the natural surroundings and culture of the local communities. Aman Resorts does not provide fancy food, but offers simple local dishes prepared with fresh ingredients by local cooks. Not only is it an important part of maintaining the authenticity of the resort, but Aman guests are also happy to get a „home-cooked‟ meal. Knowing that Aman Resorts are responsible for the impact their business leaves behind, all properties also carry out various local and environmental projects. Organic farming, recycling, waste management, sea turtle hatching, marine studies, coastal cleanups, reforestation of woodlands and water harvesting are just some of these initiatives.
Keeping Luang Prabang’s Heritage Intact
Amantaka was built on the site of the former Provincial Hospital of Luang Prabang. Out of 32 of the buildings on the site, 10 are protected under UNESCO‟s World Heritage regulations. Looking at the original constructions, it was clear that the resort had to follow the original typical symmetrical pavilion type layout and using the exiting architectural typology which allows efficient natural ventilation throughout the property. During the construction process, Aman Resorts worked with a team of UNESCO experts to make sure that Amantaka could be used as an example of a modification of a protected property in a heritage area. Finishing materials within the resort were selected in accordance with existing materials on site and in town and the interior design features colonial furniture that respect the ambience of the building.
Amantaka takes its commitment towards conservation of cultural heritage even further by being associated with the Buddhist archive of Luang Prabang. The archive is a treasure trove of historic photographs taken or collected by the monks of Luang Prabang from the 1880s. With the support of the British Library‟s „Endangered Archives Programme‟, a small team of monks and novices are scanning and identifying more than 30‟000 images covering 120 years of Theravada Buddhism. Amantaka can arrange a visit by appointment for guests who want to learn more about this project and get an insider‟s view on the quotidian life of Lao Buddhism as seen through the prism of monk photographers.
Amankora consists of five lodges, all uniquely designed and in balance with environment, in order for guests to discover the extraordinary atmosphere and scenery of Bhutan. The lodges are strategically located in the towns of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey and Bumthang to provide the opportunity for a peaceful pilgrimage in Bhutan‟s spectacular central and western valleys. In tune with the country‟s efforts to conserve the kingdom‟s flora, fauna and cultural heritage, Amankora is committed to minimise its impact to its surroundings and as a result has developed social, environmental and cultural preservation initiatives. In 2009 alone, the Amankora team has conducted over 11,000 man hours of community service for projects ranging from rebuilding, renovating and
white washing ancient worship houses and monasteries, village and hiking trail cleanups and setting up waste disposal bins, to family planning, STD and HIV awareness training in nearby village communities. Activities vary greatly from valley to valley, based on the needs of the different communities. Amankora‟s environmental practices depend in the same manner on what initiatives make sense to be developed. Electricity is drawn from Bhutan‟ hydro electric derived grid whenever possible and the lodges were constructed with thick rammed earth which helps to retain heat in winter and stay cool in summer, thus decreasing electricity usage tremendously. The lodges also grow vegetables and fruits in their organic vegetable gardens where „wet‟ garbage from F&B operations is re-used as fertilizer.
Six Senses Resorts & Spas
Committed to Responsible Business
Managing the brand names Soneva, Six Senses and Evason, plus Six Senses Spas and Six Senses Sanctuary, Six Senses Resorts & Spas has a total commitment to responsible business. Its core purpose is „to create innovative and enriching experiences in a sustainable environment‟ and its core philosophy is SLOW LIFE – Sustainable-Local-Organic-Wholesome Learning-Inspiring-Fun-Experiences. These SLOW LIFE values position Six Senses as a committed leader and pioneer in providing sustainable tourism options for consumers, suppliers and partners. From the use of building materials from sustainable local sources, to sourcing and purchasing quality food and products from local areas and communities, to using chemical free, organic choices wherever possible, all these are intelligent choices and initiatives, reflecting Six Senses commitment to SLOW LIFE.
Six Senses 20/20 Vision is to become decarbonising through implementing programmes that will result in a net absorption of CO2. A Six Senses Carbon Calculator has been developed to monitor this covering not only energy emissions, but also air travel, ground travel, freight, food, paper, waste and water. As 84 percent of Six Senses emissions are derived from guest air travel, a Carbon Senses Fund has been established. So far a 1.5 MW wind turbine has been built in India and a large reforestation project initiated in Thailand that will benefit local community and mitigate carbon emissions. Six Senses also dedicates 50 percent of its water sales to it Clean Water Projects and in just over one year has helped 300,000 people gain access to either clean drinking water or basic sanitation services.
Soneva Fushi, Maldives
Light Footprint – Lasting Impression
Soneva Fushi‟s remoteness in the Indian Ocean is central to its charm, but its location has also been a challenge for Six Senses‟ total commitment to sustainability. Decarbonising The Resort has a target to dramatically reduce it‟s carbon offset by 2012 and great efforts are being made to improve Soneva Fushi‟s energy efficiency. With this in mind, they have installed a 70kW solar PV system and a compressed solar thermal system, which provides clean energy. This works by chilling water which is used in all the air-conditioning units and generates the hot water supply. Through the „Carbon Senses Fund‟, the Resort mitigates the equivalent of its carbon emissions, with 83% stemming from none energy related sources.
Fresh in the Garden To reduce the necessity of imports, Soneva Fushi is growing herbs and vegetables around its „Fresh in the Garden‟ restaurant. This allows the chef to produce the freshest food possible with the lowest impact on „food miles‟. Six Senses Drinking Water Another project Soneva Fushi initiated to keep down its environmental footprint is the use of local drinking water. Branded water is not only costly, but shipping it to the Maldives uses tons of unnecessary fuel. So, instead of importing water, Soneva Fushi produces its own Six Senses still and sparkling water. Produced on site from desalinated seawater using classic systems, Six Senses water conforms to the highest international drinking water standards.
Six Senses Con Dao, Vietnam
Six Senses‟ newest addition, Six Senses Con Dao, follows the company‟s SLOW LIFE philosophy with a total commitment to responsible business. From the planning stage responsible development principles have been put in place to put a footprint as light as possible on the resort site. The resort is already an award winner, having won both, „The Best Hotel Construction‟ and „Design for Small Hotels‟ in the Asia Pacific Property Awards 2010 and The International Architecture Award for 2010 from The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, Six Senses Con Dao‟s contemporary architecture has been designed to enhance the natural beauty of the site. Its empathetic design, layout and general scale, the texture of the building materials and colour, fit seamlessly into the terrain.
Following Six Senses commitment to the environment and support of the local community, all materials and resources have been locally chosen, from sustainable sources. Con Dao Island has so far remained untarnished by the modern world and thankfully this will continue as more than 80% has been legislated as national park, including 150 square kilometres as a marine reserve with the best coral reefs and diving in Vietnam. Endangered species such as green and hawksbill turtles live here protected, along with the dugongs, or sea cows which eat the sea grass on the ocean floor. Much more wildlife can be seen on guided tours through the dense tropical jungle parkland. Six Senses Con Dao continuously works to keep in harmony with its surroundings.
Six Senses Resorts & Spas
Six Sensesâ€&#x; total commitment to responsible business is easily recognizable in examples of the many initiatives taken: Eco Villa The Eco Villa at Soneva Kiri is designed with permaculture principles and built by local craftsmen using local building materials primarily sourced at site. Through use of good insulation, energy efficient equipment like LED lights and usage of renewable energy (wind and solar PV) the villa is an example that it is possible to build comfortable low carbon accommodations. Six Senses Wellness Water Initiative Wherever possible Six Senses properties collect rain water for reuse and any used water is treated in an onsite waste water treatment plant and reused for garden irrigation.
Local Commitment Providing local employment is an important element of hospitality industry and Six Senses places great emphasis on hiring local hosts. Furthermore, human resources policies have been put in place to take care of the hosts through good benefits. Host restaurants provide a good choice of healthy food and a large proportion of hosts are offered accommodation in the host village where there are a library, relaxation rooms and praying space. Waste Management Typically 50% of waste is organic, hence, instead of sending it to landfill, properties like Six Senses Yao Noi compost food scraps and garden waste and create a fertile soil that can be used back in the garden.
Conservation – A National Concern
A land of unspoiled flora, impressive scenery, abundant wildlife and ancient Buddhist traditions, the Kingdom of Bhutan has little competition on earth. A heaven for biodiversity, the tiny Kingdom in the Himalayan Mountains is home to over 160 types of mammals, 770 bird species and 5,500 plant species, of which many can only be found in Bhutan. Fortunately, Bhutan‟s government made a conscious decision to put conservation and environmental sustainability at the centre of its national agenda, going so far as to include it in the new constitution of 2008. This visionary approach towards conservation has resulted in 72 percent of the country being under forest cover and 36 percent of it in a system of national parks and wildlife corridors. In 2005, His Majesty, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the King of Bhutan, and the people of Bhutan
received the 2005 UNDP „Champion of the Earth‟ award for the country‟s pledge of placing the environment at the centre of its development plan and giving highest priority to its protection and sustainable use. This award was followed by the King winning the 2006 J. Paul Getty Award for Conservation Leadership for his three decades of work and role as a visionary leader. Bhutan‟s conservation policy is, without doubt, influenced by the Buddhist mind-set that humans should to co-exist with nature over the exploitation of nature for economic gain. This quiet country in the Himalayan Mountains understands that the only way to preserve its environment is to live in symbiosis with it; an inspiration not only for other governments but every single person!
High Value, Low Impact
Cultural and environmental conservation is also Bhutan‟s main mantra when it comes to foreign visitors. Tourism in the kingdom was only privatized in 1991 and while the government recognizes that tourism is a world-wide phenomenon and can help build closer ties of friendship based on respect for different cultures and lifestyles, Bhutan has successfully established itself as a “high value, low impact” destination. The government‟s very cautious approach towards tourism has led to a regulation of tourist arrivals so that tourism is kept at an environmentally manageable level. This policy of value tourism is supported by a system of a daily minimum price of 200 USD per person per day, which, very often, is misinterpreted to be extremely high. In fact, the daily fee covers accommodation, meals, transfers, tour guides fees, permits
and taxes; and part of the royalty fees go directly to the government and are used to support free medical care, free education and other welfare schemes in the kingdom. Paying this minimum tariff and staying about eight days in the country, the majority of Bhutan‟s visitors familiarise themselves with the country‟s culture and its sustainable policies before they arrive. To support the government‟s efforts, it is mandatory for every tour guide to attend training on Bhutanese culture and environment. A special course is conducted every year by the Tourism Council of Bhutan in which guides are enrolled to learn about and understand the conservation efforts taking place to preserve Bhutan‟s heritage.
Hotel De La Paix, Cambodia
Community Support in Siem Reap
Hotel de la Paix in Siem Reap, Cambodia, has certainly seized the idea of community involvement and sets examples for other hospitality businesses on how to connect tourists and the local community in a meaningful manner. The hotel‟s „Sewing Training Centre‟ and the „Arts Lounge‟ project are only two of many initiatives Hotel de la Paix has launched to give back to the community. The „Hotel de la Paix Sewing Training Centre‟ is a vocational facility where disadvantaged young Khmer women are not only taught sewing skills, but also attend daily English classes and receive basic life skills. Based at Wat Damnak (just five minutes by Tuktuk from the hotel) and overseen by a network of local monks from the Life and Hope Association, the sewing centre provides an opportunity for those who are vulnerable and without a
future. Upon graduation from the program each student is provided with a sewing machine and start-up kit of materials so they may return to their village and start their own business; thereby being able to build a bright future and support themselves and their families. Hotel de la Paix‟s „Arts Lounge‟ is fast becoming a cornerstone in Hotel de la Paix‟s commitment to respectful tourism. It offers a stylish and thought provoking setting, providing hotel guests and visitors the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the Khmer culture, past and present, traditional and contemporary. Raising awareness of, and asking for support for, social issues through exhibitions of local artists is a great away to bring visitors closer to the Siem Reap community.
Taj Safaris, India
Responsible Luxury Safaris in India
Breaking new ground in the Indian tourism industry in 2005, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces joint ventured with „&Beyond‟, Africa's most comprehensive safari operator and leading ecotourism company. This collaboration provides guests with the ultimate luxury wildlife experience in India based on a proven sustainable ecotourism model. Each of Taj‟s four safari lodges supports the conservation of wildlife, seeks out meaningful ways to contribute to its neighbouring communities, and aims to limit their impact on the environment. The team of naturalists at Banjaar Tola has been educating local „honey hunters‟ about eco-friendly ways to harvest honey. The conservation of local bee colonies is crucial, as they are the major pollinators of the Kanha National Park. Guest staying at Baghvan in the Pench National Park can visit a nearby potter‟s village and try their
hand at pottery, while interacting with the community members and learning more about the local customs. Mahua Kothi invites local school classes to attend „Conservation Lessons‟ provided by their in-house naturalists. On this unforgettable safari experience into the Bandhavgarh National Park, the children learn about their surrounding wilderness and why it is so important to protect it. At Pashan Garh in the Panna National Park, the staff village has been transformed into an organic vegetable garden. The team has set up a compost area, water recycle system and garbage incinerator, which together enables the lodge to grow fresh vegetables much to the guest‟s delight. Without a doubt, Taj Safaris not only creates incredible experiences, but also takes the concept of sustainable safaris and puts it on a whole new level.
Elephant Village, Laos
An Elephant Sanctuary
Laos was known as the „Land of a Million Elephants‟, but nowadays only 1,600 elephants remain, of which an estimated 560 work in the forest industry harvesting timber. However, the timber harvesting business in Laos is declining year by year resulting in more jobless elephants every year. As elephants require a huge amount of food, it is virtually impossible for a mahout to keep an elephant without a steady income. This is where „Elephant Village‟ enters the picture. Located just twelve kilometres outside of Luang Prabang in the village of Xien Lom, this elephant sanctuary gives former working elephants a brighter future by providing rides or mahout training courses to tourists. Working with tourists is relatively easy work for the elephants, compared to the harsh and often abusive
environment they are coming from and allows them to earn their own living. The project employs a full-time veterinarian to ensure that the elephants receive ongoing, high-quality medical attention. „Elephant Village‟ also supports the local community through the employment of local villagers as lodge staff, maintenance workers, cooks and guides, a few also train to become mahouts. In addition, visitors to the sanctuary learn about the health and well-being of these grey giants from the local veterinarian and get the opportunity to travel to the elephant‟s jungle home and join the fun elephant morning bath in the nearby river. A great experience which not only you, but the elephants and the local community, benefit from!
Shangri Lao Expeditions, Laos
Conserving Natural Habitats
Founded by the owners of „Elephant Village‟, „Shangri Lao‟ offers customers the unique and authentic experience of luxury, colonial-style camp accommodation combined with elephant expeditions. This new concept not only aims to give former logging elephants an alternative way to earn their living, but also to preserve the natural surrounding areas. The camp has invested an amount of 20,000,000 Lao Kip in total to walking trails, bridges and resting areas for visitors with the aim to prevent high impact constructions or visitors strolling off signed pathways. Local workers were involved in this project, using their traditional construction methods and natural local materials. The surrounding forest is under the private protection of the „Elephant Village‟, with the support of the „Shangri-Lao Explorer Camp‟, and the local provincial authority.
With the help of foreign and local Forestry Experts and Natural Resource Managers, a number of impressive plant species, of which many are vulnerable or even critically endangered, have been identified. Along the camp‟s educational trail visitors can find many signboards which detail the different local, English and scientific names and the utilization of these identified tree species. Both „Shangri Lao‟ and „Elephant Village‟ pledge to purchase one square metre of a deforested area per customer for replanting in order to continue conserving and rehabilitating the endangered forests of Luang Prabang. The camp‟s approach to bring tourists and nature together in harmony to benefit from each other without harming anything or anybody, in a colonial explorer setting, is a unique experience.
Fair Trek Project, Laos
„Fair Trek‟ is a Luang Prabang based initiative of seven villages, the government, local tour operators and NGOs. The initiative, led by Mr. Markus Neuer, with the support of a small team of tourism professionals and consultants, aims to create new job opportunities for villagers through tourism in a sustainable way. As an innovator in the field, Fair Trek is committed to promoting good practices for other private companies wanting to support local communities through tourism activities. With meaningful experiences, it integrates visitors into the every day life of local ethnic tribes, while still regulating the number of guests to ensure the preservation of local traditions. Allowing a maximum of eight participants per trek, on average 30 percent of the participant‟s fee
is direct income to the seven villages participating in the initiative. The fee is used to pay the local guide of the visited community; it will also pay for local food and entrance fee payments. This means local people will directly benefit from the tour fees and, by participating, guests are providing much needed income and job opportunities to the rural communities. As part of the project, micro-credits in form of building material to improve the living standards and infrastructure of villages are provided to the villages. The villagers have to pay back the equivalent of the materials received through tourism services for visitors. To make sure that „Fair Trek‟ is operating long-term in a sustainable way, the local authorities and NGO‟s are monitoring the impact of the „Fair Trek‟ project on the local community.
Ngemah Ulu Longhouse Adoption, Malaysia
Supporting the Longhouse Community
The involvement of Diethelm Travel Malaysia in Sarawak with the Ngemah Ulu longhouse community dates back to 1992, when the entire Ngemah longhouse was destroyed by fire. The 14 Iban families, or around 70 people, were left with nothing. Diethelm Travel started organizing one-day trips to the longhouse to support the community with some extra income. Diethelm Travel Malaysia‟s Managing Director, Manfred Kurz, in 1998, initiated the „adoption‟ of the new Ngemah Ulu longhouse with the aim to preserve and revive the tribe‟s culture, customs and rituals, and prevent irresponsible tour operators from jeopardizing the daily life of the people in Ngemah. In accordance with to the adoption agreement, the longhouse chief receives a monthly fixed salary from Diethelm Travel Malaysia and
community members receive income through offering longboat transfers, jungle treks, food and cultural performances to visitors. Additionally, every month Diethelm Travel pays an entrance fee and overnight taxes for all visitors into a community fund kept by the Iban people. This money is used for festivals or ceremonies, or can be borrowed by any family for pressing issues such as their children‟s education or emergency medical needs. Diethelm Travel also promoted Ngemah Ulu to the “Mont Kiara” International School in Kuala Lumpur, which is now visiting the longhouse on a yearly basis to learn about the tribe‟s fascinating life in the Jungle of Sarawak and help the Iban‟s repair the longhouse and build necessities, such as a new dam.
Heart to Heart Project, Sarawak
Rehabilitation of Orang-utans
There are shocking statistics available on the orang-utan and most outline how they are in grave danger of becoming extinct. This most intelligent creature is listed as an endangered species and is totally protected by law in Sarawak, under the Sarawak Wildlife Protection Ordinance of 1998. Based on recent survey, the total population of orang-utans in Sarawak is estimated to be less than 2000 individuals and they are only found in the totally protected areas. Orang-utan rehabilitation is an absolute priority for the survival of this species and includes caring and conditioning of any injured, orphaned or sick orangutan, with the ultimate aim of releasing them back to the wild.
This full rehabilitation can only happen when they are able to survive in the wild, on their own. The Heart to Heart with Orang-utan program is a unique conservation initiative run by Sarawak Forestry in collaboration with Sarawak Convention Bureau. It is a one day programme with allows participants to actively participate in Orang-utan rehabilitation at Matang Wildlife Centre and Semenggoh Wildlife Centre. At the end of the program, visitors will be given a certificate of participation to acknowledge their contributions in Sarawakâ€&#x;s Orang-utan rehabilitation program.
Beluga School of Life, Thailand
A Community with a Heart
When the tsunami devastated southern Thailand in December 2004, many children, having lost their families, needed a future, a permanent home and a good education. Under the patronage of the German company Beluga Shipping GmbH, the Beluga School for Life was established close to the beach town of Khao Lak. Today, the Beluga School for Life is home to 150 children from unfortunate backgrounds, including tsunami survivors, children from poor families and children without domestic security. The educational area of the project compromises family houses, where seven to ten children live with a mentor, the Small Kids‟ House, a kindergarten, a UNESCO associated elementary and secondary school, a hotel training institute and bungalows for visitors as well as six learning centres. Complementary to school lessons, the
children participate in numerous daily projects at one of the six learning centres. The centres allow the children to better understand their social, ecological and economic environment and to actively participate in shaping it, and range from „Organic Farming‟ with the school‟s own farm over „Nutrition and Health‟ with a canteen and a professional restaurant kitchen where students learn to cook to „International Communication‟ with two buildings for computer and language classes. Tourists can visit the Beluga School for Life on a day trip or stay in one of the hotel training institute‟s comfortable bungalows. Since 100 percent of the proceeds made from visitors flow directly into the project, you are not only experiencing the children in their learning environment, but also supporting the aid project with your stay.
Forest Floor Lodge, Vietnam
Rehabilitation of Cat Tienâ€™s Forest
This small eco-lodge is located 150 kilometres north of Ho Chi Minh City in the tranquillity of Cat Tien National Park. Surrounded by tropical forests, a former ranger station has been converted into the main lodge and comfortable lodging, in either luxury tents or traditional Vietnamese houses, was added subsequently. The Forest Floor Lodge invites naturalists, scientific visitors and guests who respect the environment to participate in developing the park facilities, conserving wildlife and enhancing the livelihoods in the local community. In their low-impact accommodation, the lodge uses renewable energy sources whenever it is practical to do so, installed a waste water treatment plant and used recycled building materials when building the
lodge. The lodge also follows a strict policy on wood usage and land clearance in an attempt to rehabilitate specific woodland species and conserve the surrounding forest. Their â€žDozen for Oneâ€&#x; initiative calls for every tree that had to be removed in order to build the lodge to be replaces by at least twelve native hardwood trees. These additional plantings are carried out in key buffer zones adjacent to the national park and around the lodge. Furthermore, the lodge uses agro-forestry to grow marketable fruits, cocoa and bamboo as well as to create a more diverse, productive, healthy and sustainable park surrounding. In collaboration with the park authorities, the Forest Floor Lodge offers a wide selection of excursions which are accompanied by a knowledgeable park ranger.
The Streets International, Vietnam
Education for the Future
Located right in the heart of beautiful Hoi An, STREETS is not your average contemporarily designed Vietnamese restaurant. At this Restaurant Café, street kids and disadvantaged youth from the region are being prepared for a career in culinary arts and hospitality service. The founder of this innovative project, Neal Bermas, called on hospitality and food industry educators and businesspeople to launch STREETS International in June 2007. Based on the fact that the hospitality and tourism industries form a large part of developing economies throughout Southeast Asia, STREETS is the first real chance for many underprivileged teenagers to transition from poverty and life on the streets to a successful career in hospitality.
Every six months a class of 16 trainees begins the 18-month hospitality-training program, which is internationally accredited by the award winning Institute of Culinary Education in New York. The youth who learn their skills on the job at the Restaurant Café, under the supervision of teaching instructors, are provided with housing, clothing, food, and medical care. The program also includes an extensive mentoring life-skills program and „hospitality English‟ classes in the afternoon. On your next journey to Hoi An, make sure to stop by STREETS Restaurant Café and enjoy a delicious meal prepared by the trainees while learning more about this inspiring project.
Diethelm Travel Group Kian Gwan II Bldg, 14/F 140/1 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand Phone: +66 2 660 7000 / Fax: +66 2 660 7027 E-mail: email@example.com