AUSTRALIA BEYOND THE REEF
Big Five targets sustainability in Australia
Stuart, FL (April 29, 2013) – “Sustainable travel is not only the road to the future,” said Ashish Sanghrajka, president of Big Five tours & Expeditions. “It represents the best of our present. In developing these journeys, we strove to share the authentic face of Australia; its true self.”
Much like it has already done in Kenya, Tanzania and Ecuador, Big Five built these journeys from the beginning to feature genuine experiences with traditional cultures and the natural world. Arnhem Land, for example, has been home to indigenous people for tens of thousands of years, with relics discovered that may date back 35,500 years. It also has some of the finest examples of ancient rock art to be found anywhere.
“Arnhem Land today is the homeland of some 20,000 people, who represent living history. And we want our guests to engage with this remarkable community. These are not people selling trinkets on the side of the road. They are professional guides and drivers, lodge staff, historians and community leaders,” Sanghrajka added.
Big Five has committed to the path of becoming fully sustainable in terms of product by 2016. This deliberate refocusing began in earnest in 2010 with a major shift to private conservancies in Kenya and, where available, Tanzania. It continued with a rebuilding of its Ecuador and Galapagos journeys to be more inclusive of the rich cultures and natural landscapes of mainland Ecuador.
Big Five defines its sustainability policy in three areas: conservation and protection of biodiversity, wildlife and natural habitat consistent with sustainable tourism practices; the support for poverty alleviation and community development, including capacity building, education, and healthcare in tourism destinations; and support for cultural heritage, archaeological and historical preservation in and around tourism destinations. These Australia programs are the latest journeys to qualify.
One of three new itineraries, the 14-day Kipling Collection Wild Australia utilizes small camps that derive most or all of their energy through solar panels. Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef, with just nine
luxury tents, works to minimize its impact on its surrounding ecosystem. Its carbon footprint is greatly reduced by its sustainable practices that include generating 100% of its energy needs through solar panels, a predominantly clean source of energy that also preserves the natural peace and quiet of this pristine area. Each en-suite bathroom has an effective composting toilet, and the grey water from the showers and hand basins is carefully managed to ensure only filtered water is dispersed back into the ground. Bamurru Plains also utilizes solar panels to generate about 75% of their energy. The camp considers every aspect from waste disposal to the choice of linen to recycling bottles in terms of environmental impact.
“Sustainable travel and experiential travel are one and the same when done properly,” Sanghrajka added. “These programs were created after countless hours inspecting everything from the activities to the solar panels and dry cell batteries that power the camps.”
Big Five Tours & Expeditions
With more than 40 years experience in premier adventure travel, Big Five Tours & Expeditions offers luxury guided travel to Africa, Middle East, Asia and the Orient, South and Central America, and the South Pacific. For more information, contact Big Five, (800) 244 3483, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org; in Canada, (888) 244 3483, email@example.com.
Wild Australia: http://www.bigfive.com/tour/wild-australia-from-coral-coast-to-bamurru-plains/
Southern Australia & Tasmania: http://www.bigfive.com/tour/tasmania-southern-australia/
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Media contact: Deborah Kilcollins, Communications Liaison
(888) 244 3483, (772) 287 7995, ext. 2214. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org