Travel brings benefits both to the traveller and the countries visited-offering opportunities to learn about different cultures creating jobs and contributing to economic development.
However, tourism has its negative impact too – it can erode cultures, alter the natural environment and quickly lead to the exploitation of local communities.
Sandakan Spirit believes passionately in responsible travel and has promoted it right from the start. We have a minimal impact strategy designed to minimise our footprint.
We are committed to the development of sustainable eco-trekking in the countries we operate. This commitment will enable us to assist the local people to develop skills and experience to gain employment and develop eco-tourism business. We are also committed to developing and implementing health and education programs to assist the more disadvantaged people in the countries we visit.
We believe people who work for Sandakan Spirit should be treated fairly, paid a fair wage, are supplied with adequate trekking gear, have a safe work environment, have access to health and education programs and further career opportunities.
We also believe that we should also learn and respect the culture and the customs of the country we are visiting so that we do not offend local people.
We ensure that local people benefit economically from trekking by employing them as porters, cooks, leaders and guides.
We train our staff in hospitality, customer service, and first aid and assist them with both education and health.
Sandakan Spirit runs community programs to help with the distribution of school books and first aid kits. We encourage our clients to become part of the culture.
We purchase our food locally and eat locally in village and family run guest houses ensuring that the locals benefit economically.
We also minimise our impact on the environment by travelling in small groups, reducing waste and offsetting our carbon emissions. Sandakan Spirit adheres to the philosophy of “take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints”.