We elected to call our resort an "Ecolodge" because we believe that it is possible to do business in a sustainable way, trying to set an example for many other people to follow. We would like to demonstrate that it is often easy to change some of our everyday habits in order to better serve and sustain our world's environment as well as to help people that still lack the basic needs that we, in the western world, "take for granted"as the standard way of life (Quality health care, potable water and basic education just to mention a few).
Talking about ecolodges would not be exhaustive nor appropriate in this web site so we decided to list the main characteristics that turn an ordinary tourist resort into an ecolodge and how we are trying to comply with them, if you would like to know more about this topic please visit our link section.
As described in the Green Globe 21 web site, the core set of eight principles is that ecotourism (hence an ecolodge) product should:
1) Focus on giving visitors the opportunity to personally and directly experience nature (Natural Area Focus).
- The lodge's design has been planned to give as much as possible to our guests a close contact with nature in its wild form.
2) Provide opportunities to experience nature in ways that lead to greater understanding, appreciation and enjoyment (Interpretation).
- In collaboration with the Xe Pian Natural park management, local villagers and NGOs working in Laos we will be able to provide trekking, hiking and other natural activities inside the park.
3) Represent best practice for environmentally sustainable tourism (Environmental Sustainability Practice).
- All toilets, sinks and showers wastewater is treated through anaerobic filter system tanks to minimize environmental pollution that every human activity produces. Continuous training among our employees and written advices to our customers are used to minimize water and energy consumption as well as waste production, recycling and waste composting is used as much as possible. No exotic trees or plants are used in the resort landscaping. We firmly refuse to buy and offer to our customers (as food or souvenir) any kind of wildlife or wildlife product, as well as we discourage this activity among the villagers.
4) Contribute directly to the conservation of natural areas (Contribution to Conservation).
- We work in close collaboration with the Xe Pian Natural park management to achieve this principle. One example is our constant monitoring of the surrounding area against illegal hunting and logging.
5) Provide ongoing contributions to the local community (Benefiting Local Communities).
- All our employees are hired among local people, most of our activities involve services from the local communities (guides, food, elephants, transportation, etc.) as well as most of the food supplied to our guests is of local origin, thus providing an extra revenue for the area's economy.
We also believe in the importance of education, therefore we have decided to support the local primary school with donations for infrastructure improvements and school supplies.
Note: People from villages have very little knowledge of the western way of life and its customs and they do not have any knowledge of foreign languages like English. Our goal is to teach them at least the basics of such an "international" language but that will take much time and efforts.
We thank you for your patience and understanding if and when there will be difficulties in communicating with them.
6) Be sensitive to, interpret and involve the culture/s existing in the area (Cultural Respect).
- Friendly and cooperative relationship has been built between the lodge and the villagers. Before and during the lodge operation we have closely followed local customs (like ceremonies to please the spirits and so on) as a form of respect. Written indications are given to our guests in order to avoid possible conflicts or offensive acts towards the local people.
7) Consistently meets consumer expectations (Customer Satisfaction).
- This is our primary concern, a written feedback form is provided to our guests in order to improve ourselves through the customer's point of view.
8) Be marketed and promoted honestly and accurately so that realistic expectations are formed (Responsible Marketing).
- We strongly believe in this principle, we would be pleased to receive any complain, comment or suggestion from your side if we have not been able to comply with your expectations.