PEPY Tours is committed to crafting experiences that foster appreciation and conservation of local 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.
Participants on a PEPY Tour raise money for local non-profits that are making changes within their communities. These tours have helped raise over $500,000 for development projects in the countries we work in 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 as part of the tour.
- 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.
- 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 the countries in which we travel, and includes local “dos and donts”. 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 and social media presence gives past participants the ability to stay in touch and continue discussing the development issues they learned about.
- 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 minimize its environmental footprint both on tours and among staff. We encourage the use of water filtration systems rather than plastic water bottles, bans the use of Styrofoam containers, strongly encourages bicycle transportation, and avoids the use of air conditioning. PEPY Tours regularly monitors its impact on sites, cultures, and the environment.