Our vision is to deliver exceptional travel experiences through engaging journeys that connect people and cultures. Our responsibility along the way is to ensure our operations are conducted in a manner that has a positive impact on our employees, our guests, the destinations where we operate, and the environment. This policy forms our roadmap to a more sustainable future, and it is shaped around the following 4 pillars: Our Tribe, Our Communities, Our Planet, and Our Ethics.
We take great pride in our staff and it is our commitment to ensure all are treated fairly and with respect.
We care deeply about the communities where we operate, and the people who call them home.
We continuously assess our operations, seeking to minimize our impact on the environment.
We respect and aim to protect the vulnerable in our destinations, including children and animals.
We take great pride in our staff and it is our commitment to ensure all are treated fairly and with respect. It is our policy to not discriminate based on age, religion, gender or sexual orientation. We uphold this throughout our operations and sales offices globally.
We are committed to the professional development of our staff and have a number of programmes to ensure they are well trained and their skills honed. Our teams, where relevant to their position, conduct regular inspection trips to enhance their knowledge of the destinations, and our products and services. Additionally, staff in administrative areas attend regular courses to keep their skills up to date.
Our guides, all hired locally, are rigorously trained on operational standards and are held to a high level of service delivery within our guidelines. Educational topics include scenario-based training, on the spot problem solving, and cultural nuances.
We care deeply about the communities where we operate, and the people who call those communities home. Introducing our guests to local people offers a great opportunity to promote cross-cultural understanding, respect for cultural diversity and mutual tolerance – creating more meaningful experiences for both.
Tourism can stimulate economic growth and have a positive impact on communities. We aim to work with local suppliers so our operations directly benefit local communities and their economies. Our product teams seek out community-based projects and homestays to include in our itineraries, and use locally owned restaurants when possible.
Protecting and promoting the cultural traditions of our destinations are key components in our product development strategy, and we aim to do our part to keep these practices alive and flourishing by supporting local artisans in our products.
Introducing our guests to local people gives us a great opportunity to promote cross-cultural understanding, and create meaningful experiences for both. Learning even a little about the communities to be visited in advance of travel can go a long way towards avoiding conflicts and cultural misunderstandings – we actively encourage our guests to do this. To ensure interactions are as smooth as possible, all travellers we welcome to the region are given pre-trip information with etiquette guidelines, dos and don’ts and useful phrases in local languages.
We continuously assess our operations and seek out areas where we can make improvements and minimize our impact on the environment.
We have set up a “green team,” dedicated to creating a more sustainable workplace at ICS. This team develops guidelines and best practices for environmental conservation that are in turn shared across our offices. The team sets goals based on 4 different criteria: Energy Conservation, Recycling, Waste Reduction, and Purchasing.
Our Tour Operations
To ensure our tours are operated in the most sustainable manner possible, our guides and operations staff are trained on, and held to, high operational standards. From energy conservation with our vehicles, to providing helpful suggestions to our guests while travelling, we aim to minimize the impact on local communities and the environment.
We respect and aim to protect the vulnerable in our destinations – including children and animals – by avoiding activities that are exploitative.
We believe we have a responsibility to protect children from all forms of exploitation and abuse. Our aim is two-fold: to ensure our tour operations are free of any activities deemed detrimental to children, and to educate our staff and guests on the issues at hand. By educating and training our staff, and providing clear information and guidelines to our guests, we hope to create an awareness of the issues impacting children’s lives in our destinations and empower both to make informed decisions when interacting with children.
ICS will not offer visits to orphanages, or any school visits that disrupt educational activities, as research has shown these can be harmful to children’s development and emotional well-being. We will support local social enterprises offering vocational training that positively impacts a child’s development.
The welfare of animals used in tourism activities is of great concern for ICS Travel Group, and we are committed to working with suppliers who uphold international standards and best practices in animal care.
We are committed to upholding the Five Freedoms and Welfare Quality Criteria as outlined in the Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism by ensuring our selection of suppliers meet these conditions.
- Good Feeding: Absence of prolonged hunger and prolonged thirst
- Good Housing: Comfort while resting, thermal comfort and ease of movement.
- Good Health: Absence of injuries, absence of disease, absence of pain induced by inappropriate management procedures.
- Appropriate Behavior: Expression of social behaviours and natural behaviors; good human-animal relationship; positive emotional state.
- Protection from Fear and Distress: Absence of general fear/distress/apathy; ability to seek privacy/refuge. Absence of surgical or physical modification of the skin, tissues, teeth or bone structure other than for the purposes of genuine medical treatment/manipulation/sedation.
Certain activities involving animals and customers have been publicly criticised as detrimental to animal welfare, and we have taken steps to replace these activities with more sustainable alternatives. ICS will no longer sell elephant treks or rides, or any shows involving elephants performing, nor will we include in our programmes any camps offering these activities. We will instead support carefully vetted conservation camps which can provide financial support for the care of elephants, their mahouts and families where needed, as well as give our guests the opportunity to experience these amazing animals in a natural and non-harmful environment.