How Southern Star Travel Values Responsibility
SST intends to execute responsibly by acknowledging that too much focus on anything can lead to the self-destruction of a country's infrastructure.
Additionally, we embrace the cultural heritage, traditions and expectations of the communities visited.
International Travel and Tourism is a tool for education and one we use to deepen and improve communities through enriched, lifelong connections.
Western culture is a powerful force and it spreads at light speed backed by entertainment media and information technology. There is no need to pack additional cultural and social baggage when traveling abroad. Doing so threatens to dull your experience and pollute your destination’s cultural heritage. Besides, why miss an opportunity to unburden yourself from your own norms and expectations and see the world from a broader point of view?
To travel responsibly is to immerse yourself in the culture at your destination. Notice and appreciate the differences between your own culture and the culture you've chosen to encounter by leaving home. Learn about local customs. Educate yourself about the social norms in your destination. Practice a few phrases of the language that people will be speaking around you.
By taking a few small steps with us we can work together to ensure a two-way cultural exchange that leaves a lasting, positive impression on both visitor and host alike.
In the past (and still some in the present unfortunately) large international travel and tourism operators brought tourists in by the plane-load to developing countries but very little tourist revenue actually stayed in those destinations. By some estimates 80% of a traveler’s budget would go to the airlines, resort hotels and travel companies rather than going to local businesses, workers and communities.
Tourism can and should be an effective way of redistributing wealth in ways that generate positive economic benefits by being spent with local businesses and providers. We at Southern Star Travel contract with local providers when possible then take our guests well into the community where you can source your souvenirs with local artisans and business owners so that their profits enrich lives in their communities as much as traveling through their community will enrich your life.
Just being aware of the local culture and being careful where we spend our money is not enough. The developing world is called that for a reason – it is still developing! We don't even have to go out of our way to help it along. Besides, if you weren't interested in going off the beaten path a little and experiencing a different culture then why even leave the house?
There are so many organizations out there that task themselves with the good work of developing their communities and we want to introduce a few to you. So long as we are already on a bicycle exploring the beautiful volcanic valley we ought to stop in and let your guide read a short picture book to you and the children at a school for economically disadvantaged children down that side street. As long as we’re looking for a good meal we might as well find it in an organic macadamia orchard that educates the community in nutrition and ecology.
Today the question: ‘Do tourists feel they should balance their vacation experience by making responsible choices where possible?’ has been answered (at least by those of you who choose to come with us).
By choosing responsibility you’re doing the right thing. We’ll take it from here and, by asking ourselves every day on every trip what that means – in terms of attitudes, activities, partners, etc. – we free you to discover the wider world around you on your journey and to connect in a positive way with its people.