Here at The Dragon Trip, we have always been driven by a passion to share the real side of the countries that we love, beginning with China, when we launched our first ever group tours in 2011.
We’ve grown quite a bit since then, adding Japan, Southeast Asia, India, Indonesia and South Korea to the list of countries where our Dragons tread, alongside our dedicated team of trip planners who are based across three global offices.
In each of the places where we run trips, we respect and champion traditional and modern cultures, and we work together with the local communities whose homes we are passing through.
We believe strongly in the power of change through small steps, but that’s not to say that we don’t have a long way still to go.
Our planet is in trouble, and our company and our customers all need to play a part – both in tackling the climate crisis and in preserving the uniqueness of our destinations for many future generations of Dragons.
Responsible travel, in short, involves travelling with respect for the environment and the customs of the places that we are visiting. It is travel that minimises the harmful social, economic and environmental impacts and generates greater economic benefits and enhanced wellbeing for local people.
You may have heard some other terms too, such as ‘sustainable travel’, ‘ethical travel’, ‘impact travel’… All of these are used to explain travel that has a positive rather than a negative effect on the host communities and our shared planet.
Here are some of the ways that The Dragon Trip already supports consciously responsible travel:
- We provide employment and leadership opportunities for local people in the destinations where we run tours – both for our Adventure Leaders (tour guides) and in our offices.
- As a sign of respect, we think that it is important for travellers to learn a few key words or phrases in the native language, so we offer language lessons in China, India and South Korea and a written language guide in Japan.
- All of our customers’ interactions are with local suppliers, and we promote integration between travellers and local people through our “unmissable” included activities and our optional activities, and opportunities for authentic cultural immersion.
- We consider the environment by sending all of our pre-departure booking packs by email instead of through the post. For our “Little Books” – our on-the-trip companion guides for customers – we have stopped printing physical copies, everywhere apart from China, in favour of electronic PDF files.
- We use public transport, or walking, wherever possible on our tours – and overnight trains or buses rather than internal flights.
- In 2019, we partnered with One Tree Planted. For every customer who books with us to travel in Vietnam, India or Indonesia, we donate for the cost of planting one new tree in those countries. Trees and forests are the most effective and the cheapest means to reduce excessive carbon from the atmosphere.
- Providing an eco-friendly packing list.
- Offering The Dragon Trip-branded reusable items, to help our customers to avoid single-use plastics.
A lot more can be done, to make a profound difference. If you have any ideas, please do let our green-friendly team know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by reaching out to us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.