Our aim is to contribute to a sustainable society and sustainable tourism. Any activity we undertake endeavours to tread lightly on the planet; empowering travellers and local communities to leave a positive impact on the surrounding environments in which they visit or live. We will always strive to manage our resources so economic and social needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity and biological diversity – therefore preserving the elements that make our destinations such desirable places to visit. We also work closely with our suppliers to deliver higher sustainability standards and motivate them towards more sustainable travel behaviour.
Destination Asia operates in 11 countries across Asia with 29 locally-owned operational offices across these destinations. We strive to run our business along ethical lines, embracing the three pillars of sustainability: economic, social and environmental. We endeavour to maximize the positive benefits received by local communities as a result of our presence while minimizing any negative impacts. Whenever possible, we will work with local partners and suppliers who share our philosophy and actively monitor their business practices and services.
This policy details our commitment to deliver our services in a responsible manner, whilst providing an innovative and varied product offering to our valued clients. It addresses not only the areas where will endeavour to minimize damage to our environment, but also details the measures taken to guarantee the health and safety of our employees, those in our supply chain and our customers. Additionally, Destination Asia is committed to developing, operating and marketing our tourism services in a sustainable manner. With this in mind, Destination Asia has partnered with the ‘Travelife for Tour Operators and Travel Agents’ certification scheme in order to provide structure for our journey down the road to greater sustainability.
In each Destination Asia country, we aim to ensure there is an appointed team member coordinating our sustainability initiatives who has access to and is accountable to senior management. These sustainability coordinators will be in charge of action planning, monitoring and evaluation. Additionally, they will be key in keeping our sustainability policy up to date and reporting on the progress of sustainability management within each Destination Asia country. Besides having an appointed team member responsible for sustainability management, each country will also have a dedicated team comprising of key positions to support the implementation of our sustainability efforts.
We always aim to reduce the amount of disposable and consumable goods used in our operations, and when this is not possible, will reuse and recycle as much as we can. Already in some offices, employees are provided with re-useable bottles to avoid one-time use bottles being purchased. We intend to roll this initiative our across all offices. When reduction is not an option, we recycle waste through the utilization of recycling bins that are accessible to all employees. Plastic, paper, glass, compostable waste and batteries can be placed into separate recycling bins.
At Destination Asia Thailand, paper use is monitored with visual diagrams placed in public areas of the office to illustrate how much has been used each month. Communal printers are available with personal printers only available to senior management. Computers are set to print double sided and old contracts and documents that have been printed on one side are reused to print personal documents on the remaining blank side. We also encourage employees to use ink efficient printing settings, reducing consumption by 15%. Our Xerox printers enable us to monitor paper and ink usage so we can share monthly reports on use reduction. In the near future, we intend to make this standard across all our offices.
Sustainable procurement means we aim to buy only locally produced fair-trade coffee and tea for our employees. We always aim to purchase in bulk and buy sustainable and green cleaning products. Our giveaways are also locally sourced to reduce CO2 emissions and provide employment opportunities for local companies.
Destination Asia takes a number of actions to ensure energy is not needlessly wasted in its offices. These include; saving energy from air conditioning units which are switched off at night and at weekends. We save energy on lighting and technical equipment by purchasing low energy devices. We ensure that devices are switched off during breaks and printers are switched off and unplugged at the end of each working day and over the weekends.
In Bangkok, we encourage staff use of public transportation by providing a shuttle minibus service from the nearest MRT stop to the office. We aim to implement similar initiatives at other offices in the near future. Additionally, we give preference to transport suppliers that are committed to supplying sustainable local transport alternatives. We aim to train drivers in sustainable driving techniques, such as ensuring that drivers turn off engines when the vehicle is not in use. At present, we are looking into a preferred carbon offset program that we can use for all staff business travel. We aim to offer this to our customers for their travel in the future.
Destination Asia commits to communicating its sustainability goals and objectives to key partners in order to motivate existing partners to greater sustainability. Additionally, when selecting new partners we will factor in their sustainability performance.
We are committed to ensuring accommodation suppliers are made aware of our key sustainability goals and objectives. Standard sustainability clauses are being integrated into contracts with accommodation suppliers and signed accordingly. We will always offer multiple accommodation options and include traditional homestays where possible to provide a deeper cultural experience, whilst increasing benefits to local communities. Our accommodation suppliers must agree to no forced labour or child labour, among other conditions, and we ask that they actively support community involvement and development initiatives. Preference is also given to accommodation providers that work with international sustainability certification schemes.
We ensure that all preferred excursion suppliers are aware of our sustainability objectives and encourage them to adopt a responsible approach. Each supplier is made aware of our sustainability policy and we are developing relevant codes of conduct for sensitive excursions. All excursion suppliers must commit to respect basic human rights and fight against child exploitation. We are committed to ensuring that our suppliers understand the importance of taking sustainability issues seriously. Excursion providers are required to evaluate how ethical and responsible their services are and train their guides accordingly. Protecting biodiversity and wildlife at each destination is also a key priority.
Destination Asia will never promise more than it can deliver or provide a false impression of the destinations in which it works. We take full responsibility for our actions and strive to create a positive impact through our activities on the environment, customers, employees and communities. At all times we monitor and ensure active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards and international values. We communicate relevant sustainability issues to our clients in the destinations they visit and provide options for those who wish to donate or give back. An extensive list of products and destination information is accessible online for guests to access. We also provide customers with full support during their journey with Destination Asia and have guidelines in place in the case of emergency situations.
If you have any questions regarding our code of conduct surrounding sustainable travel, please contact us at: [email protected]