Above all, responsible tourism is about appreciating that the economic, environmental, and social-cultural issues of an area are paramount. It is essential for us to provide travel options that are sustainable and provide future benefits to all.
Our goals are to put as much back into the local communities that we visit as possible, to be vigilant and respect local customs, and to minimize ecological footprints. We encourage those who choose to travel with WildExodus to do so with a genuine desire to enhance their holiday by learning more about and contributing to the native people of the host communities they visit.
We realize that most destinations are someone else’s home
We endeavour to leave places as we found them
We make sure communities benefit from our visits
2017-8 ACTION PLAN
WildExodus will continue to work closely with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to ensure our operations in the Boreal Forest ecosystem meet and surpass government requirements. We will network only with partners that share our goals.
Increase the involvement of local native peoples in our heritage excursions
Develop program to include ‘pow-wow’ focused on Nashnabiaski Cree first nation customs
EXPLORERS’ TRAVEL TIPS
Your choices matter. We try to extend a hand whenever we can, and expect our customers to do the same. Here are some things to consider when traveling with WildExodus or our networking partners.
Buy locally made crafts and support local skills. Do not simply buy on price but on value to you: bargaining for a lower price for both souvenirs and services is often the accepted and expected custom, but don’t drive a hard bargain just for the sake of it.
Try the local food and specialists. Many rural areas around the world are under threat from a reduction in their agricultural base and by eating locally produced goods you will help the local farmers as well as the local economy. Local standards of living are often very different to our own, so we need to realize that our economic power can be great and we should not abuse it.
Please never buy products that exploit wildlife or aid the destruction of species or habitats. Do not buy souvenirs made from endangered species; doing so will only encourage the trade.
Consider what you really need to take with you. Waste disposal systems in many places we visit are ill equipped to deal with the increased pressures that tourism brings, and a few simple measures can make an enormous difference to the effect you have on your destination. Where possible remove the wrapping of packaged goods before you leave: unwrap soaps and take bottles out of boxes.
Pick up your litter as you would at home: bottles, cans, plastic, cigarette butts, apart from being unsightly, can be deadly to wild animals.
Environmentally friendly detergents and shampoos for hand and hair washing are widely available please take these, and use as little as possible. This will help to keep valuable fresh water supplies, rivers, streams and the sea free from pollution. Make sure you prevent soap polluting someone else’s drinking water.
Remember that in many places fresh water is a very precious commodity and should not be wasted, so use a minimum for showering and washing.
Where any toilet facilities exist, however unsavoury, they should be used. Where they do not, always bury your waste and make sure it is never near, (at least 30m) from a water source. Your leader will give you appropriate advise on this issue.
Although we insist that our guides maintain suitable distances from wildlife, allowing the animal an escape distance, there is always a temptation to get closer. For this reason we recommend that you don’t encourage your guide to get closer to the animals than is acceptable and to take the most powerful lens for your camera you can get. Never feed wild animals or attempt to touch them.
It’s quite easy in a small community to appear like an arrogant rich foreigner, so be aware of the feelings of other people, and try to avoid causing offense. Learning a little of the local language and customs plus taking note of the dress codes can help reduce these barriers.
Please always ask permission before taking pictures of people, ritual events or special places like shrines. If people seem reluctant or look away then please do not take a picture. Be careful not to cause offense through your thoughtlessness.
If you are not sure please ask your guide or leader for advice on how to respond to begging and about appropriate gifts. It is usually better, for example, to give school materials or local food treats as a group, through the leader, to the school head or village head. Just handing out sweets encourages children to be a nuisance by begging, and may well ruin their teeth in a place where there is no dental service.
Extravagant displays of wealth such as ostentatious jewellery and technological gadgetry can be an incitement to robbery, as well as accentuating the gap between rich and poor, so please think about this when deciding what to take with you.