MISSION STATEMENT & POLICY

PANDA operates tourism that fosters understanding, appreciation and conservation of the cultures and environments we visit. We operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. We are committed to working with our clients and the peoples of our host destinations to ensure direct economic benefits at a community level, and to contribute to cultural and environmental conservation. With the continual monitoring of our operations, we aim to operate beyond best practice guidelines, endeavouring to set the world-wide industry benchmark for responsible tourism operation.

Our Policy

We comply with international environmental conventions and abide by the laws, regulations and guidelines of the countries, cultures and natural areas we visit.

  • We ensure direct economic benefits from our tourism operation to the host community, thereby providing an economic impetus to environmental conservation.
  • We hire local people whenever possible, throughout all levels of the organisation, providing them with appropriate training, to ensure an understanding and compliance with our RT policy.
  • We actively work with the host community in all tourism projects that we instigate.
  • We support local businesses and use local services whenever possible.
  • We protect the integrity of local cultures and heritage by accepting their right to determine their own development and through minimising visitor contribution to acculturation and the decline of local values.
  • We assist in maximising the retention of our clients' expenditure in the local communities with advice in our literature and from our leaders.

We ensure that our operations are sustainable and that our negative impact on the natural environment is minimised. Wherever and whenever possible, we make sure that our environmental effect is positive.

  • We ensure that the type and scale of our operation is appropriate to local conditions.
  • Our vehicle fleet is managed to minimum impact guidelines regarding fuel and maintenance schedules.
  • We use established, locally owned and run campsites wherever possible and endeavour to leave the site in better condition than we found it.
  • We are efficient in the use of natural resources.
  • We adhere to minimum impact guidelines pertaining to toilets, rubbish, the use of soaps, firewood, water, fuel and other items that can negatively impact the environment.
  • Whenever possible, we use site-sensitive accommodations that are not wasteful of local resources or destructive to the environment.
  • Our group sizes are regulated to minimise cultural and environmental impact.
  • We regularly monitor our impact on sites, cultures and ecosystems. We advise relevant authorities of noticeable changes and, where necessary, alter our program accordingly.
  • We abide by site-specific guidelines pertaining to flora and fauna, and to cultural and historical sites.

We ensure that all aspects of visitors' experience are in harmony with the cultural and natural environment.

  • We help prepare our clients by providing information at all stages in order to help them minimise their cultural and environmental impact.
  • We aim to install in our clients an understanding and appreciation of the culture and environment in which they travel by encouraging considerate, culturally and environmentally conscious habits.
  • We help enrich our clients' experience by providing cultural and environmental interpretation, both through local site specific guides, and by providing our leaders with the appropriate training.
  • We actively support cultural, social and environmental initiatives through financial contributions and direct participatory involvement.

This Policy applies in all of our offices, as well as in the field.

  • We ensure managers, staff and contract employees know, participate and receive training in all aspects of company RT policy.
  • Our offices maintain recycling programs, waste, water and energy management programs to conserve resources and to minimise environmental impact.
  • We work with our business partners in the host destinations on all aspects of our Responsible Tourism Policy to ensure compliance.
  • We ensure that all of our operations abide by this Policy and that all new trips are developed in accordance with it. We regularly monitor our operations and those of our business partners to ensure that these standards are maintained. We recognise that we are not perfect in all areas and continually strive to narrow the gap between principle and practice.