Put simply, ‘Responsible Travel’ is about enabling the sustainable development of destinations by minimising negative impacts and maximising the positive for the benefit of all stakeholders. Cinnamon Travels is wholeheartedly committed towards being a responsible travel company who genuinely cares about how our business impacts the people and places it touches. Throughout our tours, we are continuously developing responsible activities and via our Cinnamon Travels Foundation, we actively support a variety of projects that are making a real difference in the communities.
Cinnamon Travels actively supports community based tourism (CBT) projects with local organizations as part of our attempt to spread revenues to the most remote and poorest communities. Through these projects, visitors have the opportunity to learn more about authentic cultures while improving local welfare and supporting environmental and cultural preservation. With the Cinnamon Foundation, we have worked alongside international development organizations to support a number of CBT projects in areas of rural Vietnam, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.
Principles and Certifications
The concepts of responsible travel are growing in importance for more and more travelers, but they have been our guiding principles from the very beginning. This is a high priority for Cinnamon Travels, and we employ staff to focus solely on these issues. Tourism growth in the developing world has been impressive, but this too often results in damage to the ecologies and cultures that we all wish to see. Tourism can thus be a mixed blessing, and Cinnamon Travels works alongside local communities in rural areas to bring economic benefit and to develop tours according to their goals and priorities.
Our Sustainability Management System
We believe that our business should be a force for sustainable development in Asia. This commitment to corporate social responsibility relies on a management system which we designed to guide our internal policies and the relationships along our supply chain. We are one the first tour operator in Asia to have implemented such a system, and we are proud of this accomplishment.
Besides striving to operate in a more sustainable business environment, we use our tours to support projects in environmentally sensitive areas and to aid local economic development. We feature here some of our most recent projects.
Capacity building and community-based tourism projects
In Thuy Bieu village in Hue we worked alongside local people in a disadvantaged mountainous area to create a new guesthouse and train locals on managing successful tourism businesses.
In Sapa – nature reserve we served the Danish NGO FPSC in a consulting role for their project of nature conservation and livelihood improvement to organize eco-tours in the Reserve.
Our educational tours. Every year, Cinnamon Travels welcomes groups of students from international schools and colleges to stay with an ethnic community in remote areas. An opportunity for young people to play with their counterparts in simple earthen playgrounds and to take social or environmental action for the community. For example, they build a schoolyard, plant trees or give a hand in restoring a classroom. The experiences from the trip leave indelible memories in both guests’ and hosts’ minds.
The Primate Conservation Fund is an initiative Cinnamon Travels took hand-in-hand with Flora and Fauna International, the world’s longest running conservation organization. The money raised directly from booking of nature-based tours help cover the costs of paying local community rangers to patrol remote forest areas.
Dos and Donts
Our commitment toward Responsible Tourism
- Minimize negative impacts by intensive consultation and collaboration with local communities.
- Provide education on environmental and cultural issues among visitors and hosts.
- Promote positive, respectful experiences for both visitors and locals.
- Provide direct financial benefits for conservation and poverty reduction.
- Raise sensitivity to hosts’ political, environmental, and social climate.
- Build partnerships with scientific researchers (ecologists, biologists, geographers, anthropologists)
Our tips for you to be a more responsible traveler
- Please ensure you don’t leave waste in these pristine environments. Particularly plastic bags and batteries can be highly polluting – take them back with you. Only leave your footprints!
- The only place to put your rubbish is in a rubbish bin or other proper waste receptacle.
- “Toy rowm lay tooy nee long” is the phonetic Vietnamese for “I don’t take plastic bags.” If you buy from locals, please refuse plastic bags as much as possible. You are acting responsibly and raise awareness by doing so.
- Please be conscious of water usage. Save water and take a shorter shower!
- Most rural houses are not equipped for high power usage. Please remember to turn off lights, unplug chargers when full, and minimize use of hot water. You can be a Power Hero!
- Please remember to “Respect and Adapt”. Respect the environment and adapt to it. You are a stranger in a fragile environment and micro-society.
- Don’t be afraid to bargain. But always pay a fair price. Over enthusiastic bargaining or over generosity both have negative effects.
- The best way to explore the countryside and interact with the locals is to go by foot, trekking is the way to immerse yourself in the place and the culture. Go human-powered!
- We appreciate your feedback. Comments about sustainability and responsible travel are most welcome. Tell us how you feel and how we can improve.
- Promote responsible travel and experiences. Talk to your family and friends. Word of mouth and social networks are the great Green Channels.