Responsible and Ethical Travel

Oyster Worldwide and Responsible Travel

Oyster Worldwide is committed to providing travel projects which enrich the local communities they are based in as well as the people taking part. As the far corners of the world become ever more accessible it is important that every care is taken to maximise the positive effects that responsible travel can have.

Responsible travel projects run by Oyster always strive to have the most positive impact possible on the local communities, whether that is on the local economy, culture or environment. We are fortunate that the local communities involved in our projects have been generous enough to allow volunteers to live and work with them and we take that responsibility very seriously.

Our aim is to continue building projects in cities, towns and villages around the world which will last long into the future as the positive effects are experienced by both the volunteers and the local people alike. Sustainable tourism is an essential element if we are to continue enjoying the hospitality of the fantastic people and places which host our projects.

As a responsible travel organisation we operate under a strict set of guidelines, taking into account our impact on the environment, society and the economy. These allow us to provide the best responsible travel and ecotourism projects around the world without negatively impacting the destination.

Environmental Policy

  • Minimising the impact on the environment that we make is vital to Oyster and as part of this we are working towards becoming ‘carbon neutral’. Oyster believes in the policy of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. In the UK, our office recycles paper and paper that has been wrongly printed is reused. Our headed paper now comes from a recyclable source. Our offsetting scheme will minimize the impact on the environment as a whole as it will reduce the carbon in the atmosphere.
  • Participants are advised to use hand wash gel that does not require water. We also advise, during our pre departure course, to take care with water. In many of our destinations, water is precious and expensive. The environment cannot afford the waste.
  • Participants are given advice for going trekking. This involves keeping to marked footpaths so as to prevent further erosion of the landscape. Participants are also informed about correctly disposing of waste and to not litter.
  • Oyster has teamed up with TREE AID who not only plant trees but TREE AID’s mission is to tackle poverty and improve the environment in Africa’s dry lands. The cost of offsetting varies dependent on where you are travelling to. For most of our destinations we recommend a donation of £15.

Oyster believes in providing a valuable experience for our participants but most importantly doing so in a way that does not damage the destination country.

Social Policy

  • We send people trekking in small groups (no more than 10 + guides) at a time per trek. This minimises the environmental and social impact that the participants have on the destination.
  • All of our participants receive Joining Instructions a month before departure. This is a document designed to confirm all of the project details and also remind people of how to stay safe, culturally sensitive and be a responsible traveller.
  • When in country, all participants take part in an orientation course which is designed to remind them to be culturally sensitive and to minimise their negative effect on the country. This course is run by our Trekking Manager.
  • Oyster has a very good channel for feedback from both our participants and our overseas staff. Returned participants fill in a post placement questionnaire where they can comment on the placement and make any suggestions they feel are necessary. The UK office is in constant contact by phone and email with the overseas representatives and their opinions and comments are valued by the company.

Oyster is an active member of the Year Out Group and so adheres to its Code of Practice.

Economic Policy

  • We employ local drivers and bus companies to transport our participants to their trekking start point once in country.
  • We employ local friendly guides and porters who are all paid fairly.
  • Part of what people pay Oyster is donated to one of the many volunteer projects that we have strong links with in the Kathmandu Valley.

We believe that by following these guidelines, we can continue to offer fantastic projects and treks to our participants where they can have the experience of a lifetime, whilst positively impacting the people and places they interact with.


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