Our responsible tourism and environmental policies form an integral part of Great Wall Adventure Club’s philosophy and operating procedures. Our overseas clients and student/charity groups visit some of the world’s most amazing places. In fact, we want to leave those places in better condition than when we found it in order to ensure that future generation get the same thrill visiting as you do!
We are committed to ensuring that all our clients have a positive environmental and cultural impact on the places they go and the people they meet. We endeavour to put particular emphasis on China’s countryside, a much overlooked area where poverty is still the norm. Through aiding the local economy in terms of jobs and stability, we are striving to improve the lives for these hard-working and wonderful people.
We believe that more than anything, it is the people around you who really make an adventure special. That’s why we think we go further than any other company in aiding the people living in China, especially in the rural areas of this country. To us, responsible tourism means treating all our local employees and associates fairly and ensuring they are properly compensated for their hard work, while being committed to each and every adventure you embark upon. The following are the set of guidelines we have designed in order to ensure that we enrich all of the lives we come into contact with during our adventures:
* In many of our Great Wall destinations, we have local partners who are extremely knowledgeable about the Great Wall’s terrain, hiking routes, paths, military areas. This is done to make sure our hiking is safe and well-operated.
* We hire local guides who are usually peasants and farmers from low income families. Our employment of those people and the use of their facilities, such as their accommodation and dining facilities, make a valuable year-round contribution to the local economy. In addition, our local partners earn precious extra income to support their family. This is additional income they wouldn’t ordinarily receive.
* In addition to our guides, all of our personnel (all office staff, cooks, porters, drivers, etc.) are local to the area where your program is located, providing much-needed jobs and stability to the local economy.
* Our guides are paid significantly more than the government-controlled tour agencies and our competitors.
* We do not use tips as a substitute for salaries, as we pay our staff a fair and generous wage. The distribution of tips is carefully monitored by us to ensure fairness and transparency. Again, this is something you rarely see in locally-owned Chinese travel agencies.
* We take pride in our staff and local partners, and the invaluable contributions they make to ensuring all our clients have the best possible experience. We run an annual reward and incentive program for the locally-operated staff who have received positive feedback from trip participants.
* We have personally evaluated every single one of the local hostels and guesthouses that we use. Great Wall Adventure Club’s certification program is the first of its kind in China. This certification program is meant to ensure quality control, and is yet another way in which GWAC is making sure that our clients can get the most satisfying experience possible. Utilized by our lodgings (ranging from resorts to hostels) and restaurants, unlike the facilities used by other Chinese travel agencies, a Great Wall certified establishment means that our clients’ lodging/restaurant is up to Western standards in terms of safety, cleanliness, comfort, convenience, and any other amenities that a Western visitor would come to expect. We only use officially approved lodgings/restaurants for our travel programs, and we are constantly evaluating and reviewing these locations on a yearly basis.
* We adhere to strict guidelines regarding the vehicles we use in order to meet the strict standards of environmental protection and the safety of the People’s Republic of China.
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