Can You Trust Your In Country Operators?

Phew, finally back from 4 lovely weeks in Nepal! Time to dust off my laptop and start blogging again…

While trekking I saw all the usual adventure travel suspects passing by with their hordes of clients – Intrepid, GAP Adventures, Exodus, Imaginative Traveller, etc. Most of their porters were carrying acceptable loads but one company’s porters were carrying loads way past the norm. When I inquired among the porter community they all groaned and called out this one company as always making them carry packs that are more than the acceptable limit. This got me thinking…

Each and every one of those companies has a responsible travel statement somewhere on their site and I’m sure they honestly believe they are being responsible, but the in country partner must feel some sort of pressure not to disappoint so they have their porters carry brutal amounts of weight.

So how is your company not falling into the same trap? Can you ever not fall into that trap unless you’re actually based in country like PEPY Ride is for example? How can you be sure that the promises made to you by the in country NGOs are being fulfilled? I’m not saying the NGOs are being deceptive, it’s just how much can the will to please over shadow what is truly responsible travel?

Just a thought, would love to hear some ideas on how companies are working through this issue?

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