The major selling point of our adventure is that the tours travel through mainly rural areas and the wilderness of Borneo. Therefore, with a few exceptions, all our suppliers are either local people, or company that employs local. For accommodation, this includes local homestays, or hotels /chalets that employs the native indigenous people. For food, our policy is to stop by well run local restaurants and food stalls that offers real authentic local taste and experience, including participating in preparation and cooking of meals with the local host. During our ride / hike, we also make the point of purchasing from the local shops or fruit farms rather buy from the supermarket in the city. This is especially popular with our guests during the fruiting seasons where roadside fruit stalls are well in abundance. In specific location at villages, we hire local kampong (village) guides who will lead to visit local cottage industry or local attractions. One of the highlight of traveling in Sarawak is the river, lake and island crossing. We always tried to use the local wooden longboat rather than the faster fiber speedboat run by company, except in cases where there are safety concerns. Although the local longboats are more expensive to hire, they offer much genuine authentic experience as well as contributing to the local economy. The owners of the boats are mostly local fisherman or ferry providers, and they are more than happy to generate extra incomes during their down time.
We have initiatives for paper reusing and recycling in our office. It is our policy to limit the use of printed brochures to the minimum and encourage e-brochure to our clients through emails or cloud-sharing platform. We also have a policy of printer cartridge recycling. Inside our office, instead of installing air-conditioning, we have opted for environmental friendly way of air-cooling with natural ventilation utilizing the building air-well as well as pool garden. We actively organize visit to wildlife sanctuary and national parks set up by recognized NGOs and government agencies that help rehabilitate and preserve the orangutan, sunbear and turtle. Volunteering programs are incorporate into our tour to encourage participant and create awareness. A major part of our tour is to provide travellers with relevant education to minimise damage to the environment, wildlife and marine ecosystems and how they maybe able to help. Our travelers are encouraged to sponsor some of these official programs such as the orangutan adaptation program that let to their continue involvement in the cause in many years to come after they return home, rather than a one-off contribution. We provide travelers with suggestions for Code of Conduct for Environmental responsibility:-
– Our Pre-Tour “What to Expect” information provide accurate pre-trip information concerning the specific to a particular trip including the social, environment and political situation;
– We recommend the guest bringing their own re-fillable water bottle and avoid using one-off plastic bottled water.
– We also discourage the use of plastic bags, suggesting customers to bring their own dry bag or small waterproof backpack. During tours, we recycle wherever possible, and try to keep our waste as low as possible; We never allow traveler to take pieces of coral or other endangered plant life home as a souvenir.
We build up our partnership with as many local as possible, from the local boatman, homestay, street stalls and small cafes. As much as possible, we stick to the same people who are then familiar with our expectation and they will expand their operation as they grow with our business. One example is the wooden sample crossing that we used in the city of Kuching, a dying traditional way of commuting in the rapidly modernized Kuching. We have used this specific sampan crossing provider for more than 3 years for all of our local city bike tours. He has proven to be a very reliable supplier and for bigger group, he will personally organise ferry providers from the other kampongs. We have even used his personal house by the ferry jetty during the festive season of Hari Raya (Muslim festival) as “Open House” celebration as part of our festive bike ride. We have collaborated with our Ministry of Tourism Sarawak’s initiative in a project known as “Fort to Fort Trail” to develop responsible tourism in an interior region of Sarawak who had very little exposure to tourism. We developed an education package together with the Ministry to train the local longhouse folks to manage their expectation and on how to receive tourist. The training involves safety training as well as basic requirement of homestay, tour guiding and hygiene standard etc. as well as to educate on the longhouse folks on the importance and the method to preserve their authentic longhouses and cultural heritage. We provide travelers with suggestions for Code of Conduct for Social responsibility and ways to minimise negative impacts on local cultures:-
– We recommend the traveler when buying souvenirs, head to the shops of traditional artisans or local cottage industry for locally made products. That will be helping to keep traditional crafts alive, while also supporting our small, independent business owners and artists. We always favour local products over imported items, but avoid buying things made from the tusks or horns of endangered animals (such as hornbill and coral), or from at-risk plants (such as orchid and pitcher plant). We educate travellers how and why purchasing locally produced goods and services – souvenirs, crafts, meals and guides from locally owned establishments has beneficial effect – communicate a sense of the significance of this to local communities;
– We also suggest ways to minimise negative impacts on local cultures such as giving the best possible advice about bargaining, as well as advice on giving gifts or money to beggars, children, and people they have just met;
– We recommend the traveler always ask first before photographing or videoing people. Asking before clicking also offers the chance to have a conversation and to connect;
– We advice travelers to dress respectfully with an awareness of our local standards that varies with each culture and religion, including dressing modestly at certain religious sites and check what swimwear is suitable for pools and the beach.