Ethical Tourism

We follow Ethical or Responsible Tourism principles and we do this in 2 ways:

1. Where we can, we work with partner companies in the destinations that are locally-owned and we therefore encourage the Tourism benefit to be derived locally. We tell you more about this within each country programme under "About your guide", but we have identified a number of partners who have strong local links. Our partner company in Jordan is owned by a Bedouin tribe and our Mali partner has Touareg ownership. We will always ensure that local ownership is not at the expense of high quality service and have found that to the contrary, a better service is often offered. In some destinations this is not always fully possible and there can be an element of outside ownership, so we try and ensure that the second element also applies:

2. We will seek local causes or charities, so that we can offer some contribution from the sale of our programmes. That does not always mean money and as we all know, money can often distort and offer disrespect. Sometimes the investment you can make as a visitor is of real material value (see the OUTKEL Association in Mali), or it may be just the time you give to help in a local project (with the Navajo in SW Colorado). However, it can be a financial contribution, as in the case of the "Education For All" programme in Morocco, where there is a genuinely worthwhile project requiring additional finance. Where we cannot find an appropriate cause, we will give 1% of our income to our chosen "larger" International charity that works in as many of the countries that we operate to.

Our Ethical Policy

Mission statement

Earth Cultures was formed to bring contact with the World's most fascinating cultures to the forefront of the holiday and to give visitors a rewarding, inspiring and refreshing experience through genuine contact with those people. We let them show you round some of the World's iconic locations, which are also their homelands.Our links with those cultures (like the Bedouin, Berber and Navajo), either direct or through overseas partners, means that we can offer genuine and exciting experiences that are delivered by local people, give local benefit, but give a high quality service to discerning customers. We ensure that the time spent with local hosts is of sufficient length and quality to allow a real transfer of ideas and beliefs.Our tours offer a mixture of traditional comfort and modern luxury, of classic sites and unique locations and of relaxation and exciting activities. We hope that our clients come home refreshed and inspired, but maybe with a new view on living and those cultures.

Ethical guidelines

It is our intention to operate this company along ethical principles. This will see us give consideration, care and benefit to the following:
- Local populations in the destinations we serve.
- The destination environment.
- Our customers.
- Our partners.
- Our staff.  

Responsible sourcing/Local economic benefit

Where we can, we work with partner companies in the destinations that are locally-owned and we therefore encourage the Tourism benefit to be derived locally. We tell our customers more about this within each country programme under a section titled "About your guide" and we have identified and work with a number of ground handling partners who have strong local links and ownership. For instance, our partner company in Jordan is owned by a Bedouin tribe and our Mali partner has Touareg ownership. We will always ensure that local ownership is not at the expense of high quality service and have found that to the contrary, a better service is often offered. In some destinations this is not always fully possible and there can be an element of outside ownership, so we try and ensure that the charitable policy applies.

Charitable policy

We will seek local causes or charities, so that we can offer some contribution from the sale of our programmes. That does not always mean money and as we all know, money can often distort and offer disrespect. Sometimes the investment you can make as a visitor is of real material value (see the OUTKEL Association in Mali), or it may be just the time you give to help in a local project (with the Navajo in SW Colorado). However, it can be a financial contribution, as in the case of the "Education For All" programme in Morocco, where there is a genuinely worthwhile project requiring additional finance.
Where we cannot find an appropriate cause, we will give a percentage of our income to our chosen "larger" International charity that works in as many of the countries that we operate to. At this time, we have selected Wateraid who know of our intention, but whom we cannot mention on the website until we give donations of £10,000 plus per annum (their corporate policy).

Social policy

We make every effort on each programme to support the local population. Where possible we use companies that employ local people, use local suppliers and we make sure that their payment policy is fair for the services given. All too often, income from Tourism never makes it to the local government and most of it stays with the national level government. By channelling as much of the money as possible to local governments and communities, the local people are given the opportunity to benefit from a visit. Tourism becomes a viable option to natural resource exploitation (which is often the case), leaving something wild for future generations to enjoy. Where possible, we will also contribute to community welfare through partnerships with local agencies in developing local projects.

Environmental policy

We are committed to the preservation of the habitats of the regions covered by our trips, which are designed to promote an understanding of the delicate ecosystems. We ask our local ground handling partners to take a low-impact, self-contained approach, carrying in what we need and carrying out all waste, thus leaving the environment unspoiled for future visitors and the local inhabitants. The company requires that the people who work for us do not leave rubbish anywhere and respect the environment with preservation of resources, flora and fauna, etc.
For instance, where we camp, we ask our partners to minimize the impact of our trips on the environment through the use of stoves rather than firewood for cooking meals and we burn any paper garbage from our kitchen, or which we collect from our clients. All food items originally in glass bottles will be rebottled in plastic that can be reused on each trek or recycled. Used cans, foil from the fire and used bat

Where we use Hotels or Lodges, we ask that they also adhere to these guidelines and we select, where possible on that basis.

All our overseas partners will be given a copy of this policy document to apply throughout their operation. We are new but will carry out regular checks to ensure that the guidelines are followed.

We publish this information on our website, to allow customers to understand and hopefully follow our approach.