We believe that with great travel, comes great responsibility
Since our very first days as a tour operator, responsible business has been at the heart of what we do. THV is committed not just to treading lightly, but to making a real difference – by investing in local communities, human rights initiatives, wildlife conservation projects and the environment. We’re all about operating in a responsible manner and incorporating principles of sustainable tourism and development into the way we provide our travellers with real life experiences. These values are more than just words; they’re ingrained in the culture and daily operations of THV office and trip.
We are committed to including the principles of sustainable tourism in everything we do, working hard to protect the environment, economy and cultures of all our destinations. We extend the same efforts to the areas in which our offices are located.
What we do
Throughout all of our destinations we encourage our clients to engage in community-based travel. This gives our clients the opportunity to spend time with local communities, learning about their lives and the traditional and changing practices of the countries they're visiting. This also gives them the chance to support the more remote and poorer communities, as well as the economies of the country they are visiting as a whole.
All of the staff working on the ground to coordinate and facilitate our trips are offered extensive training and an annual capacity building programme. This allows them to develop skills needed for their jobs, and improve their personal development. They are all paid above the local standards, providing them with greater opportunities, and ensuring that they stay with us and keep offering our customers the best possible experience.
Plastic consumption and waste, especially in Asian countries, is leading to a worldwide environmental problem on both land and in our oceans. Travelling in Indochina, where tap water is generally unsafe to drink, leads people to consume water from an uncountable number of small plastic bottles, of which only a small proportion are recycled and most ending up in landfill sites or working their ways into rivers and oceans. This is why we have taken the initiative to offer our clients refillable water bottles which can be used throughout their journeys and have partnered with a large number of local organisations to offer refill stations as well as being able to refill their water from much larger bottles while on tour, which are then reused and refilled with clean filtered water.
We are pleased to offer this for all of our guests in Vietnam, and are trialling it in both Cambodia and Laos as well, to reduce our impact on visiting these astonishing destinations.
Our future plans
One of our next key steps is to increase the tips, hints and advice we give to our clients to help them to be more sustainable when on holiday. We are also planning to supply customers with products to help them with this goal, and are working on formalising our animal welfare policy. Although we already ensure all of the animal-related trips and excursions we offer are respectful and don't endanger animal welfare, we are working to formalise the way in which we assess and select any trips involving animals.
We are looking to increase the amount of local restaurants we recommend to customers, so they can have interesting, unique and good-quality experiences, while benefitting local businesses and the local economy.
Our customers can rest assured that all of our trips through Indochina maintain high standards and protect the local economy, environment and cultures, and that we are committed to continuing to do so.
THV's chosen charity we support is called "Child's Dream", which is a charitable, non-profit organisation working to empower marginalised children, youth and communities in the Mekong sub-region.
As well as supporting the sustainable development of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia by arranging trips every year, we like to give something back more directly by supporting charities operating there.
Our chosen charity in this region is called "Child's Dream".
This charity focuses on offering education to the Children of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia as they believe that it is the most important element required for successful social and economic development. They are strong believers in a grassroots, community-based approach, whereby they listen closely to each community they work with to understand their true needs and the best way to support them.
The charity's support begins by offering healthcare to infants and children up to the age of 12 who wouldn't otherwise be able to access the specialist medical treatment they need.
Child's Dream also offer basic education to those aged 6 to 18, to help improve their numeracy, literacy, and offer them alternatives for their future. Towards this aim they work on a wide range of projects, one of their key endeavours being to provide the essential infrastructure required to offer a good level of education.
As well as building schools they build boarding houses so children living far have somewhere to stay during term time. They also offer a wide range of scholarships to help those who wouldn't otherwise be able to receive secondary education.
The final part of their work is to offer higher education to children aged 18 and above. To this effect they offer a broad range of scholarships. As well as providing financial support to those who plan study at university, they assist those children who are looking for a more vocational career by arranging fair on-the-job training and social entrepreneurship grants.
Why we support them
Sadly, when visiting these beautiful countries, all of our clients and staff are confronted with the realities of poverty. As these destinations are close to our hearts, and have given us all such amazing experiences, we want to give something back.
All our staff were involved in selecting Child's Dream as our charity, and we are all enjoying playing a very small part in helping those in need across Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
How we support them
Our main method of support for Child's Dream is financial donations from our clients. Their money then goes towards funding the schemes running in our destinations: Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.