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OPERATING STANDARDS

Being a responsible travel agency is at the heart of what KISWAR “Sustainable Tourism”A New Experience is all about. From the start, KISWAR has been committed to offering low-impact tours that benefit traveller and host alike. We work with local communities, businesses and individuals to develop sustainable tourism opportunities that help local economies while minimizing negative environmental and cultural impacts.

Part of KISWAR operating philosophy is to respect the communities in which we operate. We do this by acting in a manner that is environmentally, socially and economically responsible. While our sustainable tourism policies are constantly evolving, our commitment to socially conscious, grassroots style travel has never changed. We are proud, the work we do with local communities and the style of travel we offer to our passengers. We developed our Operating Standards to formalize our commitment to our beliefs. Every year these standards are re-examined and, where appropriate, targets are raised or new standards are added.

Company - wide policies:

  • All KISWAR “Sustainable Tourism” A New Experience staff and partners are aware and knowledgeable of the Standards program.
  • Reduce, Reuse (and Recycle whenever possible).
  • Annual contribution to conservation and community development NGOs (non-governmental organizations).

Marketing :

  • Promote Standards in all marketing campaigns.
  • Marketing materials: Brochure contains at least 20% post-consumer recycled paper. Newsletter to remain online.

Tour Operation :

  • Visit and clients at least one officially established protected area on each tour and provide information on such areas to our clients.
  • Our itineraries are designed to use local existing infrastructure, rather than creating a need for new construction or services to provider them.
  • Many itineraries are designed to support community tourism projects, which might mean incorporating a homestay into the tour, or visiting an Amazon lodge owned and operated by an indigenous community.
  • Provide employment and/or business opportunities to local people.
  • Suppliers are encouraged to improve their own environmental/social standards.
  • Maximum group size is 12 passengers, keeping group size to lessen environmental impact; Before the trip begins all travelers are educated on the "Dos and Don'ts" of responsible travel and how to be an active participant in preserving local ecology and culture.
  • No use of suppliers who support exploitative practices. For example, we don't condone selling endangered species products, harming threatened habitats or prostitution.

Tour Leaders and Guides :

  • Tour Leaders and guides receive special training in low-impact travel (in an environmental and social context), regional conservation issues and/or projects, and are selected based on their knowledge, commitment to and awareness of sustainable travel. Tour Leaders must possess First Aid and CPR certification upon being hired.
  • Tour leaders and guides are encouraged to research eco-friendly operators, accommodation, and possible projects that can be incorporated into our tours.

Office :

  • The Cusco-based office takes efforts to minimize the amount of waste generated, and recycle whenever possible.
  • We also recycle everything that can be recycled (this includes paper, plastic, glass, ink cartridges, furniture, computers and more).
  • All our print material is printed on 50% recycled paper and 30% post consumer content. Our office is centrally located within the center of the Cusco’s City, dramatically reducing commuter miles and makes alternative transportation an option for everyone. Nearly all of the KISWAR staff either can walk, or carpools to work.

Future Targets :

  • Continue to monitor operations at the local level. This includes evaluating the level of resource management and employment practices for all suppliers used by KISWAR “Sustainable Tourism”A New Experience. Selection of suppliers is to be based on these criteria.
  • Participate in clean-up/conservation/community development projects in areas that may require support and that KISWAR “Sustainable Tourism” A New Experience tours visit.
  • Create new partnerships with more environmental and community development NGOs on both international and local levels.
  • Design new tours that support more local communities and eco-friendly operators.
  • To incorporate projects into our tours that benefit the local people.