RESPONSIBLE TOURISM STATEMENT
PEPY Tours is committed to crafting experiences that foster appreciation and conservation of Cambodian culture and communities. We strive to ensure that every element of the organization conforms to a responsible tourism policy, and are continually monitoring the social, economic, and environmental impact of our operations.
Furthermore, we endeavor to set the standard for responsible tourism operations, promoting travel that is eco-friendly, sustainable, and contributes to local development. We insist that business partners meet high social and environmental standards, and that where necessary, they receive training to improve their understanding of such issues.
PEPY Tours has a two-part fee structure which goes along with the motto, “Adventurous Living. Responsible Giving.” In addition to the cost of their tour, participants are also required to raise funds for PEPY Tours’ partner non-profits. These funds are used to support projects which the participants learn about and odten visit on their trip.
These tours have helped raise over $500,000 for development projects in Cambodia since the first cross-Cambodia adventure in December 2005. PEPY Tours is committed to researching and qualifying responsible development projects and following up on these donations to help ensure maximum impact for the communities and programs they are supporting.
- The donation component of the trip fee directly supports partner projects that PEPY Tours participants learn about and often visit, including our sister NGO, PEPY.
- A portion of profits from PEPY Tours which are not reinvested in the venture are used to cover administrative expenses of PEPY. In this way the impact of donations to the non-profit can be maximized.
- PEPY Tours only partners with organizations and funds projects that meet its impact, sustainability, and transparency standards.
- Partner relationships are long-term; participants’ donations do not contribute to one-off projects but to on-going, sustainable programs.
- PEPY Tours holds partners accountable by constantly monitoring funded projects, ensuring that donations are used efficiently and effectively. Learn more about projects funded by PEPY Tours’ participants below or here.
- PEPY Tours is a ChildSafe business and respects children’s rights as stated in the ChildSafe regulations (in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child). No abuse, in any form, towards children will be tolerated by PEPY Tours.
- PEPY Tours enriches participant experience by providing articles and information about current and historical events, development issues, cultural issues, and responsible tourism. Discussions on these topics are facilitated by PEPY Tours staff throughout the tour.
- Each tour aims to have a long-term impact by equipping participants with the knowledge and resources to make the changes in their own communities long after they leave.
- PEPY Tours advocates ‘Learning Service‘ instead of ‘Service Learning’ to emphasize learning and engaging instead of merely observing and giving things away.
- Our orientation highlights ways to respect the people and culture of Cambodia, and includes local do’s and don’ts. This helps our participants to interact with local people in way which is respectful and comfortable for everyone.
- Each tour is lead or co-lead by trained guides with a background in development, strong knowledge of the country, and facilitation techniques.
- Our online community gives past participants the ability to stay in touch, discuss development issues, join the PEPY Reader, and stay involved with PEPY’s initiatives.
After trips, many participants have applied for an internship at PEPY Tours or PEPY. PEPY Tours invites individuals to take advantage of this opportunity to stay involved with the projects they are funding and help direct the future of the PEPY Family.
- PEPY Tours works to ensure that all tourism services have the maximum positive local economic benefits to the host community:
- Participants are offered rooms in local guesthouses, or larger hotels using their funds for direct aid to development initiatives.
- We use local guides and locally-owned travel providers.
- PEPY Tours uses locally-run or responsible foreign-owned restaurants or social ventures (i.e. Friends Restaurant, a hospitality training program for former street children) for all meals.
- PEPY Tours strives to build local capacity for employees by providing scholarships for those pursuing higher education and providing funding for training, classes, and seminars.
- PEPY Tours strives to minimize its environmental footprint both on tours and in the office. For example, PEPY Tours uses water filtration systems rather than plastic water bottles, bans the use of Styrofoam containers for tour and office use, strongly encourages bicycle transportation, and actively tries to reduce the usage of office electricity by choosing not to use air conditioning.
- PEPY Tours regularly monitors its impact on sites, cultures, and the environment.
- PEPY Tours focuses on minimizing its carbon foot print and offsets all remaining tour carbon emissions by supporting local environmental NGOs, such as RDIC that works in environmentally friendly household solutions such as clean-burning stoves.