Asian Trails’ approach to CBT and CSR in Cambodia

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Asian Trails’ approach to CBT and CSR in Cambodia

Asian Trails’ Cambodia team is taking corporate social responsibility (CSR) and community-based tourism (CBT) to a higher level through implementation of a wealth of inspired initiatives that benefit host communities.

Additional to the goals of protecting the environment, generating local income and improving lives, our CBT and CSR operations are taking our relationships much deeper than just a business connection.

This is part of our ESTEEM principles – Eat locally; Stay eco-friendly; Transport alternatively; Experience meaningfully; Empower viably; and Make a difference.

Enhanced sustainable tourism management enables us to minimise our carbon footprint, reduce environmental degradation and contribute to local peoples’ economic wealth.

The CBT ‘ tourism by local people for local people’ concept is an integral part of our Cambodia and group-wide approach. Prominent activities include partnering with cyclo drivers in Phnom Penh to empower this group and maintain their future involvement in our tours.

The three-wheeled, pedal-powered cyclo rickshaws were first introduced to Phnom Penh in the 1930s and they became an affordable way of getting around. However, in recent times their use has declined as residents use motorised vehicles and potential cyclo drivers seek alternative work.

Our team, in collaboration with Hôtel KVL in Phnom Penh, met with some cyclo drivers recently to exchange ideas about how to deliver enriched experiences for our guests. Each driver was given a gift of daily necessities and a reusable water bottle to discourage the use of single-use water bottles.

This collaboration enhances our product delivery; a ride in a cyclo provides a more enjoyable experience for our guests as they enjoy a direct connection with communities through exploration of hidden neighbourhoods. It is also a cleaner, more eco-friendly way to get around.

Our staff also gained an awareness of people who play an important role in some of our excursions. Asian Trails’ Cambodia Business Development Manager Sorya Song said: “It was good to interact with the cyclo drivers directly and get an insight into the daily challenges facing them. This contact enables us to listen to their feedback, address any requests and deliver a superior CBT product.”

Carl Sladen, General Manager of Hôtel KVL added: “The opportunity to support both the local tourism community via the cyclo driver initiative and an active CBT partner in Asian Trails was valued and enjoyable.

“Some of our team joined the event and bringing the cyclo drivers into our hotel where we provided them with our Vertical Fitness Center sustainable water bottles and beverages definitely had a feel-good factor.

“We have also transitioned from plastic bottled water to inhouse purified water with reusable glass bottles. Our Hôtel KVL team are committed to finding more ways to support CBT opportunities in Phnom Penh and we look forward to doing so with the Asian Trails team as we head towards 2024.”

As well as CBT, our Cambodia office has also been heavily involved in CSR activities, some with a special focus on environmental protection. This includes a beach clean-up on Koh Sdach island, the provision of educational materials for schools in remote provincial areas, donations to monks at pagodas and numerous recycling schemes.

Internally within our Cambodia offices, a green approach has been embraced with a passion, with staff implementing ‘Plastic-Free Wednesdays’ to maintain awareness about eco-protection.

In the vicinity of our Phnom Penh office, we have joined forces with neighbouring companies to promote and maintain green practices. One such initiative involved a collective drive to place recyclable items into designated bins which are collected by a local organisation for reprocessing.

Additionally, a neighbourhood coffee shop has joined the environmental movement and become ‘plastic-free’.

These collaborations show how a united approach can benefit our host communities and their local environment so guests can continue to enjoy exceptional experiences in some of the world’s most idyllic locations.

Asian Trails’ Cambodia is keen to collaborate with new partners on our CBT and CSR activities. If your company or organisation would like to get involved, please contact:

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