Sapa Responsible Tours

 

Why you should book this tour with us?

  1. We are selling experiences 
  2. 78% of your fee will stay at the local community which means you are bringing jobs to them, bringing food to them, bringing a chance for their children to go to school (10% of that 78% will go to the community’s fund to develop their community) and 22% of your tour cost is for the admin fee so that we can continue to support those communities’ development. 
  3. We are a social enterprise in which we focus on developing responsible tourism and paying back to the community. Your tour guides are our local people. Your restaurants are local restaurants. Your accommodations are local homestay. Moreover our staffs commit that 10% of their salary will be deducted to their community’s fund. We support those communities running their own future local business.

For more information, please follow our commitment below: 

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Social Responsibility

At YESD, we believe that both the environment and local community should benefit from our business. That does not mean we make a token donation here, or plan a couple of trees there. We want to produce real sustainable benefits. Sustainability has been at the front of our minds since we worked for V4D- a non governmental organization. We have worked with Ha Giang Responsible Tourism and Sapa-Ta Phin Village to make our homestay a showcase for responsible tourism in remote areas. We work closely with our local community, and we listen to what they want from us. Some are employed in our homestay and in our tour guide team. Many have received education and training here, and we support the local school also. 

Looking after our people

We employed about 15 people, almost exclusively from local villages. We also work to provide opportunities for our staff to progress whilst working here. They may have come to us with limited education, but if they have talent and motivation we provide the education and training to help them succeed. Each of our staff teams is led by a local employee. They are all represented at monthly management meetings with the project manager, and get a say in how the project is run. If you’d like to know more take a look at this case study of Ms Chi, the head of our Service Desk. Without education she started cutting the stones for the lodge from the nearby mountain, now she is fluent in English, tour guide and manager.

Sharing our resources

We are also careful with our purchasing and sourcing decisions. We buy local products whenever we can. Almost all of our food are bought at the local market and shops. Our menu therefore always contains fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruits. Our laundry is done by a family in Sapa. However we didn’t just contract them and leave them to it. We continue to work with on reducing their detergent use – good for environment and good for their overheads.

Caring for the Environment

We keep electricity use to a bare minimum (please help us with that whilst you stay here). In fact when we first started we tried to operate entirely on solar electricity, but the inconsistent supply means we now rely on the Hydropower station in the valley. All waste from the kitchen and restaurant is sorted and separated. Food leftovers are given to the local farmers to feed their livestock, empty water bottles, cans and boxes are given to the local people to reuse in their households. Our wastewater is treated and purified by organic filtering in septic tanks before being emitted to the surrounding soil.

We are also replanting our local area with indigenous trees and shrubs to protect local biodiversity. Our homestays also participate in external environmental activities such as “Clean up Your Village” campaign launched by YESD. 

Promoting Education

We support the local school and supply books and writing materials. New recruits normally come to us with no English, and no experience in hospitality. However many have gone on to be valuable staff, the majority of whom expect to work with us for a long time. 

We share the knowledge and experience we have gained from operating here with other interested organisations and schools such as some universities in Hanoi, other NGOs in Vietnam like VPV, V4D. We also hope we can play a small part in educating you, our guests, about the local environment and the communities around us.

Sharing the benefits

We feel a responsibility to the wider community and have developed a close relationship with the community of Ta Phin. When we hold major events here, we work with the local community and make sure they benefit. Our year campaign names “Warm Hearts for Cold Winter” to collect clothes to the villagers, to make winter more comfortable. In the future, we expect to support of this kind as well as the educational materials, recyclables, water and other resources are necessary to the local.

As result of our work in all of these areas YESD has strengthened its cooperation with the local government and is now recognized by the head of authorities as an important employer of minority staff.

We see our model as sustainable for our business, as well as the local community, so we are expanding. Together with YESD Social Enterprise and in a partnership with a local minority family, we will try our best to extend our success in other remote villages in Sapa. We offer our guests the option to experience a very comfortable “homestay” style experience in combination with a stay in Ta Phin village.