Sustainability - Golden Foundation Tours
As an experienced DMC and tour operator, Golden Foundation Tours feel that we have the responsibility to lead the sustainable practices in the market where we operate and influence on our suppliers and clients to participate in sustainability. We align our manner and practices for sustainability and to bring cultural, social, environmental, and economic benefit to the destinations and the visitors. We expect that our business partners and suppliers can be in compliance with the same manner and standards to ensure sustainability.
Travelife Certification Program
Golden Foundation Tours is presently engaged with the Travelife Certification program since October 2018. We are in the first stage ‘Travelife Engaged’ to comply with its international sustainability standards and procedures that suit our Company environment by benefiting our overseas tour operators and clients. We are presently working to move forward to Stage 2 of Travelife Partner by complying with its international sustainability standards and hope to achieve the final stage 3 Travel Certified accreditation.
Objectives and commitment
- Comply with the practices which are compliance with the law and regulations.
- Cooperate with partners and suppliers following the sustainable value and practices in priority.
- Inform and ensure that each employee is fully aware of the company sustainability policy and implement in the practices.
- Encourage the employees to propose the products and practices with less negative impacts on the community and destinations.
- Minimize the environmental impacts caused by our practices.
- Merge the cultural and social elements and experience in our activities to improve the cultural inheritance and social development.
- Give back to the community by donating to the underprivileged groups.
- Manage with measurable standards, review our sustainability performance, and aim to annually improve in practices.
Our Sustainability Policy and Management are based on the following:
- Environmental sustainability to ensure that environmental resources like our forests and waterways will be protected and maintained for future generations.
- Socio cultural sustainability promoting and preserving local cultural beliefs, practices, traditions, cuisine and heritage conservation in our tours and excursions to educate the tourists on the importance of social exchanges and respect as well as sustainability of local cultures and traditions.
- Economic sustainability supporting long term economic growth in the community by investing in local business development as well as employment, training and education of local human resources.
POLICIES AND PRACTICE
Efforts to ensure we stay true to our mission and objectives include but are not limited to:
- Seek to apply the principles of the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle consumable items in the offices like printing paper, kitchenware and recycling of plastics and glasses and cans. Encourage staff to use reusable products and to reduce the use of disposable goods such as cups, paper straws and plastic pens.
- Bulk and sustainable purchasing for office products, merchandise and gifts which are environmentally friendly.
- To use cleaning materials and pesticides which are non-hazardous and biodegradable and to ensure that any harmful chemicals are properly stored.
- To implement measures to reduce the amount of packaging materials and non-refillable plastic bottles for drinking. To make available refillable water bottles and drinking water dispensers in lieu of bottled water.
- To use energy efficient and water reduction equipment and use natural lights instead whenever possible and use dual flush toilets to reduce water consumption. Implementation of a switch off policy for all office lighting and air conditioning and for office equipment.
- To minimize any fire and vehicle pollution in the Lodge and to maintain and monitor all our boats and Company vehicles to ensure that they are in good safe conditions as well as fuel efficient.
- To ensure we reduce emissions and energy use and encourage our staff to use more sustainable modes of transport and reduce any transport impacts by sharing transport or working at home or via online meetings.
- Golden Foundation Tours will ensure that our staff and visitors are made aware of our sustainability objectives and approach for their excursions and help our visitors understand the environmental issues to protect the biodiversity and wildlife in our jungles.
- To ensure our guests do not contaminate the river and local water supply and to observe all the national park visitor rules and ensure the guests minimize their waste and water usage and follow our waste management rules.
Socio cultural sustainability
- Golden Foundation Tours is committed to communicating the relevant sustainability issues arising from tourism and to provide local information about the natural surroundings, local culture and hermitage of the places to visit and the environmental impact which are factually accurate.
- Staff to use only established and existing tracks and paths and to minimize noise at culturally sensitive sites and places. To avoid any excursions and activities those are harmful to the local people, animals and has negative impact on the environment. In case of such violations we will inform the supplier and will cease offering such activity to our clients.
- Our staff are to provide clear information and behavior standards to clients about how to respect the local culture and protect the natural environment and also on the animal welfare in the jungle.
- Will advise our visitors to dress respectfully and modestly according to local standards and advise what swimwear is acceptable and to leave only their footprints.
- We encourage our visitors to eat at local food stalls and shop at local markets selling local produce and souvenirs to promote local traditions and cuisine.
- To collaborate and support local restaurants who incorporates local art and entertainment to provide a deeper cultural experience in their dining.
- Encourage customers to donate to any local charities, cultural organizations or other sustainable initiatives.
- We promote awareness of and share Travelife’ s sustainability policy and standards with our key partners to motivate them to be compliant and to have stronger sustainability practices including, if necessary, written key sustainability clauses in our contracts.
- We aim to support our key partner suppliers / operators who support us in our sustainability goals and standards of practices.
- We design and operate our trips to benefit the local suppliers and service providers for the benefit of the local community and economy. We also consult the local community in decision making and planning of our excursions.
- We provide the necessary training to our staff to be aware of our commitment to sustainability practices and are required to complete the necessary Travelife courses. Training and informal office sessions will be conducted by our coordinator and supervisors /managers in charge and via regular email newsletter.
- We employ mainly from the local community, staff within our operational teams who are nationally accredited and experienced.
- We provide staff with necessary training including first aid training and resources for personal development and provide them with medical and personal accident insurance above government requirements.
- We provide fair wages above the industry standard and ensure equal opportunities for our employees and a safe and comfortable working conditions as well as accommodation for our staff.
- Providing continuing education for staff to ensure that they are up to date with their knowledge and to motivate them to deliver higher sustainability standards and experience in our Company’s activities.
- We will comply with the industry standards in advertising and marketing promotions and inform customers of any sustainable alternatives for their package holiday if available.
Sustainability Excursion Policy
- Our guides are to provide relevant and accurate information to our visitors about the destination and activities including safety and health issues as well as to inform travellers of our sustainability commitment standards and conduct required.
- To provide traveller’s with information about the rules related to national park and illegal souvenirs and respect for traditional culture and custom’s and preference of local services and goods and the protection and respect for children in the community.
- To inform customers about any risks and precautions to take for their trip and staff are trained to handle with any emergency situations and other safety matters. In case of any emergency response we have available a 24/7 hours contact where our response team can handle all emergencies and any incidents speedily and efficiently.
- After each trip we would follow up with a client satisfaction survey which requests for feedback and suggestions of product and service improvements including sustainability efforts. We will respond promptly to any complaints from clients or any concerns clients may have regarding any sustainability tourism issues.
Covid-19 Protocols Tour Operator, Hotels, Restaurants, Transportation & Activities:
- Golden Foundation Tours to ensure that all staff received proper training on Covid 19 response and our staff are required to take the online Travelife Covid 19 training course modules. This is to ensure compliance of the preventive measures and health protocols taken by the Company for the protection of our customers and employees and provide better understanding of the fears, concerns and risks of this pandemic.
- Before and after each trip our guides and drivers’ temperature will be checked and recorded. Any staff with temperature above 38 degrees Celsius will not be allowed entrance to the premises. The affected staff will required to wear a surgical mask immediately and be assisted for medical attention if necessary or requested to be placed on home quarantine. If the affected staff is experiencing other Covid-19 symptoms, we will ensure the staff goes for testing, and to inform the local health authorities for further instructions and for any contact tracing.
- All guests and staff entering the premises are required to be recorded
- Golden Foundation Tours will provide proper face masks for our staff and visitors if required and to limit staff and passenger contact by maintaining a distance of minimum 1-1.5 meters social distancing.
- Our tour coaches will be cleaned and disinfected before and after each trip especially on touched surfaces and the interior of the vehicles such as the seats, arm rests, door handles, seat belts buckles, doors and windows to be cleaned with detergent and soap water if necessary. Staffs are required to wear proper rubber gloves and face mask for cleaning and disinfecting the vehicles.
- We check to ensure that the restaurants and food vendors we use are following strict basic health and hygienic protocols as required by local health authorities and that their premises are regularly disinfected and sanitized for food safety measures. Customers are required to wear masks before entering any restaurant and to wash their hands with clean water and hand sanitizer. Guests will not be allowed to serve themselves form a buffet but will be served by the restaurant staff wearing proper masks and gloves. The restaurant will be encouraged to implement social distancing between tables and chairs of the guests and to avoid any congestion at all times.
- In our sales and promotional advertising we will let our customers know the preventive steps we have taken to mitigate their risks and highlight the flexible refund and cancellation policy and any tour deferment compensation on our website to ease any doubt or fear they may have.
COMMITMENT AND PRESERVATION
Sustainability Management is an ongoing process which Golden Foundation Tours is committed to preserving and enduring through the test of time. We will continue to monitor and evaluate our sustainability initiatives to ensure that they are still effective and to continuously implement any new policies or SOP as required. Golden Foundation Tours will also unceasingly share and communicate our efforts and priorities with our partners to ensure that they are in line with our objectives and to support our initiatives for further development and improvement of our Sustainability Policy and performance.