At SASO Uganda Safaris Ltd we believe and work towards ensuring that tourism maximizes the benefits to local communities, minimizes negative social and environmental impacts, and helps local people conserve fragile cultures, habitats and species. So we wrote this Responsible Tourism Policy to guide us into delivering on our promise and we hope this policy compels our travellers into joining our causes.
Our Responsible Tourism Policy
We are fully aware that tourism is a two-edged sword. It can bring prosperity through jobs, foreign investment and foreign exchange and at the same time it can damage environments, stress societies and erode cultures and traditional values.
In addition to the 20% tourism revenue that the government gives back to the communities surrounding the national parks for development, SASO Uganda Safaris Ltd, on its part, encourages responsible tourism by supporting the following causes:
- Providing information about the levels of local poverty and the importance of spending money in the local economy in order to encourage development that can benefit the local people in the tourist destinations.
- Encouraging our clients to spend money in the local economy e.g. by buying crafts that are made locally and to bargain responsibly.
- Hiring and training local people to provide services to tourists as local guides, porters, story tellers, entertainers etc.
- Ensuring that local supplies such as food and beverages during safaris are, as much as possible, procured from the local farmers an business people in the area.
- As part of our corporate social responsibility, SASO gives 5% of the profit on each Safari back to the communities that our clients visit. In Bwindi and Kampala we currently have some school going children we support with scholastic materials as one of the ways of helping them to achieve their education.
- Showcasing local community projects and asking our visitors whether they would support payment towards a community levy or fund for improving education, health or infrastructure for the local residents.
- Encouraging our customers to interact with local people to learn about local culture and customs and to respect these cultures and traditions.
- Encouraging our staff to interact respectfully with local residents.
- We try to ensure that the local people are happy to receive tourists in their home region, and are informed of the possible impact.
- Ensuring that lodges use disposable items to park food for our guests while on safari
- Keeping garbage disposal containers in our safari vehicles for our guests to dispose what they do not need. We make it our responsibility to keep the waste until we return to the lodge for its proper disposal
- Informing our guests not to dispose any litter outside the vehicle while on safari
- Encouraging guests to contribute to local nature conservation programmes such as tree planting and supporting local wildlife conservation programmes.
- Using natural and recyclable materials wherever possible so as to reduce the impacts of products on the environment.
By undertaking the above initiatives, travellers are not only assured that their coming benefits local communities and economies and that the business is operated ethically and in a socially and environmentally responsible manner, but they also have a more fulfilling holiday experience.
The multiplier effect of SASO business to local communities
What matters to us is that nothing that Saso Uganda Safaris Ltd handles compromises the environment or exploits the local people. We prefer that our activities have a positive impact so that the money generated by tourism helps with sustainable development of underdeveloped areas as well as promote conservation of the environment and the rich cultural heritage of the areas we operate in.
We are happy to communicate this Responsible Tourism Policy to our customers and encourage them to practice responsible tourism where the positive economic and socio-cultural benefits to the environment, the host community and the visitors are maximized without exhausting or abusing precious natural or cultural resources. We also regularly evaluate our responsible tourism undertakings to ensure we leave nothing to chance.
Responsible Tourism Self Evaluation
A principle component of being a responsible tourism operator is setting benchmarks and monitoring progress. Self-evaluation helps us to assess our efforts in managing the impacts of our operations. At SASO we record the measures we take to implement responsible tourism practices by using the following questions as guides:
- What are we doing to involve local people in our tourism activities?
- What are we doing to ensure that our guests and other service providers purchase services and products locally?
- What economic benefits do local communities gain from our business?
- How are we encouraging guests to spend money in the local economy?
- How are we encouraging our customers to interact with local people and learn about the local culture and traditions?
- How are we raising local awareness about tourism and increasing local residents’ access to our tourism products?
- What efforts have we made to improve education, health and infrastructure for local residents?
- How do we encourage our guests and staff to interact respectfully with local residents?
- What are we doing to improve the conservation of Ugandan wildlife, habitats and natural areas?
- How do we dispose of different types of waste and reduce the amount of waste generated by our business?
- What are we doing to reduce the amount of water consumed by our business?
- What have we done to reduce the impacts of products and packaging on the environment?
For More information about Saso Responsible Tourism Policy, don’t hesitate to contact us on email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone number +256 775 564 060