As strong believers in the ethos of responsible travel, Exotissimo is increasingly committed to developing, operating and marketing tourism with a sustainable approach. As a destination management company based in Asia, we are in a privileged position to select the most valuable partners and services, while guiding others to work in a mindful manner. As such, we strive to maximize the positive effects of travel while minimizing its negative impacts and ensure that the cultures and natural environments of our destinations continue to flourish. Throughout all levels of our business, we work in a number of ways to achieve this philosophy.
COMMUNITY BASED TOURISM
Exotissimo 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 Exo Foundation, we have worked alongside international development organizations to support a number of CBT projects in areas of rural Cambodia and Vietnam.
We place a huge emphasis on cultural exchange as a means to truly experience and better understand a country. Travel in Asia is full of opportunities to learn about local cultures and ancient traditions, now evolving in a modern context creating some extraordinary paradox and contrasts between cities and rural areas. Each Asian country, although at first glance can appear similar in a number of ways, have their own unique ethics and codes, so it is important to keep an open mind to respect local customs, practices and beliefs to ensure an enriching travel experience.
When conducting our tours we aim to tread as lightly as possible by turning off all idling engines and selecting eco-friendly modes of transport whenever possible and upon request. On adventure trips through remote areas we encourage the use of biodegradable cleaning products, we dispose of waste and ensure that no litter is left behind. In addition, we work alongside a selection of eco-friendly resorts and hotels such as Kamu Lodge near Luang Prabang, encouraging our travelers to opt for these. Please specify when you prefer eco-friendly accommodation.
By supporting local charities or choosing enterprises and organizations that assist our environmental and social cultural causes, we are able to maximize the benefits of tourism on the local society and economy. Wherever possible, we encourage our guests to partake in sustainable tourism projects, shop at fair trade shops and eat at restaurants run by vocational institutions training local youths or the disadvantaged. We participate in events such as the now famous Angkor Wat Marathon held each year in early December, encouraging clients, travelers and our Exo teams to run for a selected charitable cause with each participant raising funds.
Exotissimo Travel believes the privilege of living and operating within a marvelous natural and cultural heritage carries with it the responsibility of preserving it for generations to come, while ensuring our business is significantly beneficial for the destinations and the communities living there. Reflecting its founders’ philosophy and ethics, Exotissimo has been supporting charities and local communities through its travel programs and donations. For the Cyclone Nargis Relief Effort in 2009, the collection of nearly USD 200,000 in donations became the catalyst for the decision to set up the Exo Foundation in 2011. The role of Exo Foundation is to educate and advise Exotissimo Travel teams and clients on best practices in responsible travel, ensuring their activities support the sustainable development of tourism in the region. In addition to providing promotional and financial support for external initiatives, we also establish and run our own projects at a grass roots level.