Explore Peru Responsibly with Sun Gate Tours: Commitment to Sustainable Tourism
At Sun Gate Tours, we are passionately committed to ethical and sustainable tourism in Peru. Our Responsible Travel Policy, outlined on this page, captures our dedication to providing enriching experiences that respect the environment and culture. We believe in crafting tours that are not just exhilarating for our guests but also beneficial to the environment and local communities.
In line with our commitment, we have implemented a Sustainable Management System based on the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) criteria for Tour Operators. Our aim is to offer our customers a once-in-a-lifetime experience, immersing them in the diversity of cultures and the beauty of Peru’s landscapes in a way that is engaging, safe, and responsible.
Ready to embark on a journey that transcends tourism? Join Sun Gate Tours in experiencing Peru’s wonders responsibly. Explore our Responsible Travel Policy and discover how you can be part of a meaningful, sustainable adventure.
Here is a look at our primary beliefs
The vacation will only be valuable if you encounter a foreign culture and recognize the distinctions between it and your own. While doing so should give something back to the locals who make your vacation more memorable and welcome.
We respect the traditions people follow in different regions and share this knowledge with all our clients to promote respect and mutual understanding.
We prevent offenses and help our clients value the world’s different cultures. It enriches their experience and provides enjoyment to the localities as well.
We try our best to ensure that all locally operated companies benefit from our tours. So we arrange accommodation in local restaurants, eat local food, appoint local people to serve as tour guides, and use locally manufactured equipment.
We preserve the environment by trying to reduce harmful emissions. We achieve this by recycling and reusing whatever we can while ensuring that our actions do not affect wildlife and natural habitat.
This policy has highlighted all the practices we are committed to achieving. It provides complete details on the actions we are currently following and what we intend to do in the future. We constantly revise this policy to improve it and welcome any feedback you can provide us.
Sun Gate Tours ensures that all profits go back to the firm, to our guides, porters, cooks, and horseback riders, and back into the towns we visit and the nation.
It is what we believe is our most important responsibility in terms of the economy. Here are some measures we follow as a certainty that we are fulfilling this.
- We only use those products, suppliers, and services that local companies offer because we believe it to be an extremely ethical action. Even if it may mean paying different prices, we do not have issues with it because we benefit the local economy.
- We employ local citizens to manage our operations, even on international tours if possible.
- We support local tourism in regions such as rural tourism or historical trips.
- We encourage our clients to buy locally-made products instead or purchasing imported items. We also advise them to buy craft items and other gifts from local stores, which serve as great monuments.
- We pay our staff salaries that are significantly higher than the market average. We do this very timely, right after a tour has been finalized.
- We have appointed porters from local communities surrounding the mountainous villages of Lares Quiswarani and Cusco Pisaq.
- Peruvian Tourism Institutions SUNAT recognizes our company as an honest paying tax organization at a rate of 18%.
Along with economic responsibility, we also focus on environmental responsibilities. We have several suggestions for supporting and preserving the natural environment and habitat. Moreover, our guides are educated individuals who can speak multiple languages and can not only interpret for you. However, it can also provide detailed information on all national and regional issues in your daily language.
Almost every region faces issues like water shortage, landfills, and environmental degradation. Even though we can leave it to the government to solve these issues, we play our part and do the little bits that can help the bigger picture combined.
- We use cleaning substances like soap and biodegradable detergent and expect our customers to use the same. They may be costly, but we usually use river water that is still very clean and unpolluted throughout the tours. We want this to stay the same.
- We ensure that the transportation means we use to suit the region and satisfy our travelers’ needs. We regularly inspect and conduct maintenance of these vehicles so they perform at total efficiency, limiting carbon emissions formation while ensuring our client’s safety and comfort.
- In regions where animals we used for transportation, we hire only those operators who treat these beings rightly. We consider animal welfare essential and do not support people who do not abide.
- Cleanliness is our most important attribute, and we do not litter anywhere and properly dispose of waste in suitable places.
- We advise our clients to excrete at designated latrines. Doing this right next to natural water sources is a disgusting act.
- Dispose of batteries in the cities and not in any remote location.
- Do not waste resources like water and electricity. You can contribute by switching off lights and equipment not being used.
- At all camp places, we follow the motto ‘take only photos and leave only footprints. During this, our tour guides will request that you follow the guidelines below.
- Use only existing camping locations.
- Do not harm or disturb vegetation.
- Do not excrete into any of the streams or throw litter in them. We provide toilets and bins for this.
- Try not to use soaps that contain phosphates. Also, do not wash when swimming to keep the water unpolluted.
- Respect fellow campers and avoid making unnecessary noise.
- Do not do anything that damages the surroundings or environment.
- Do not pull out herbs and plants. Aim for the clearings and avoid creating new tracks or paths. Just use the existing ones.
- Bury feces and urine. Attempt to bury as profoundly as feasible for rapid decomposition.
- Also, bury the toilet paper or burn it. If clients want, they can carry it until they reach an appropriate disposal point.
- You will be requested to stay at least 30 meters away from any water source.
- Take the waste with you or dispose of it properly. Ensure do not leave any cans, bottles, or plastics behind.
- Recycle wherever it is possible.
While camping, basking in the warm orange fire throughout the chilly night is a thrilling experience. However, here is what we should consider.
- Is it safe and suitable to light up a campfire? Is there dryness in the area, or are there any other associated risks?
- Are you using fuel from a renewable resource? If it is wood, collect it from the ground only and do not chop off trees or break twigs. If it is charcoal, switch to another option.
- Avoid using a campfire for cooking purposes. We would be better off doing it on gas stoves on the expedition vehicle.
- Burnt plastic emits toxic fumes, so do not throw off bags, wrappers, and cigarette butts in the fire.
- When you do not need the fire anymore, bury it properly, and ensure you do not leave any dirty blemish on the ground.
The mission of Sun Gate Tours is to promote responsible travel. We have included social duties in the heart of our company in order to deliver more significant advantages to humanity while preserving the environment.
- We know that relaxation is essential in every holiday, but we should respect our fellow beings as humans. As such, we want our clients to impact their destinations positively. We offer detailed notes highlighting cultural sensitivities for every tour, and we expect you to read them. Upon the clients’ arrival, our tour guides also brief them about the same.
- We create a Travelers Code. These guidelines are complete in the general sense and provide advice on all the fundamentals like preserving sources, conserving the environment, giving off gifts and tips, and so on.
- We also consider ethics to be an essential part of our research. We value feedback on our policies, so we request our clients to comment on our responsible practices and make suggestions.
We also have country specialists who are encouraged and help us improve our travel initiatives.
We consider diversity throughout the employment process. We believe in equitable payment regulations, participatory management, workplace safety, personal growth, and favorable working circumstances. We want to expand and share our social responsibilities with our employees and customers.
We hire those industry experts from local regions and have spent several years in the field. The salaries of our trekking staff like porters, guides and cooks are more than the market averages and are paid on time. Moreover, we never overburden our employees with their duties and ensure their safety throughout the job.
Our office operates in a safe and secure atmosphere. We try to preserve energy, create recycling programs, and assume environmental responsibility.
Local Suppliers and Operators
We want to work with suppliers that share our commitment to social responsibility and who, like us, give their customers the best service possible while respecting the community and protecting the environment.
Sun Gate Tours has been handling tours in Peru for the last eight years. We have built long and successful relationships with our bluishness partners during this time. We believe our continued success is because we support the local communities who welcome us. We are committed to supporting their businesses and allowing these operators to prosper. It increases their confidence and leads to the development their services and products.
Whenever we design a new tour, we consult and seek advice from several local communities to ascertain that we are drafting realistic proposals. While selecting these companies, we only take help from those who have a positive outlook and plan on working long-term. We are always transparent about how our goods may influence local communities and never impose them where they are unwelcome.
Since the beginning, we have relied on the area’s businesses, agents, and guides. Almost all of the specialists we hire are from the area. To ensure we have skilled and motivated workers, good customer service, and the continuation of local traditions.
We are closely linked with local agencies, allowing us to contribute to the local economy. Moreover, it lets our clients gain a deeper insight into the culture, and local traditions followed in these areas when they collaborate with our locally hired staff members. There are specific tours on which advice from these guides is invaluable, such as the Amazon Jungle and the Inca trails of Machu Picchu.
Sun Gate Tours ensures that locally hired employees work in fair conditions, are paid impressive wages, and provide adequate support by our tour staff. We have enforced a separate and specific policy for the Inca Trail to protect the porters’ rights on the trek.
We give our customers the chance to stay in homestays no matter where they are. It is a win-win situation for everyone involved and allows for a cultural exchange that benefits everyone. Our clients experience the local lifestyle while the localities benefit from them in terms of economy and society.
When our guests visit Amantani Island or Chinchero, they stay in the locals’ houses. As a gesture of gratitude, they give their hosts homegrown gifts such as rice and textiles. The locals either use or sell them to get income. In several situations, tales, music, and recipes are often exchanged. Thus, both consumers and local communities benefit from coexistence.
Local Food and Restaurants
On all our tours, we encourage our clients to consume food offered by local inns instead of dining at multinational brands, which they can do at home. It provides customers with a genuine taste of traditional food. It helps local communities adhere to their culinary and recipe traditions.
It ensures cultural longevity, an asset in areas where these rituals are in danger of being lost.
There are some Adventure Tours on which we provide our clients with food. We purchase fresh, tasty, and quality items from the reputed local markets in areas where it is possible. Our commitment to supporting them ensures that these companies keep prospering and developing themselves.
We believe in promoting the participation of all local communities that exist in areas where we operate. For this, we sign contracts with the best drivers, guides, and experts. Currently, we are developing a pilot program in an Andean community, which we will hopefully extend throughout the region.
We keep all our tour groups small, with a maximum of 10 people, so we do not create an intrusion for the local communities. This approach also lets our clients gain more benefits from our industry experts.
We introduce our clients only in areas where we know the local community will welcome them. Before adding new places to our list, we obtain consent from the localities and give them complete awareness of possible tourism effects.
We treat all people respectfully and carefully observe the traditions which they practice. We encourage all our clients to do the same and provide details about the national culture. We gave them complete knowledge regarding the traditions and advised them to learn the basics of the local language. When we use local guides who help our clients, it ensures that at least some of the local communities gain benefit from our business.
We emphasize providing our clients with information through local guides. We request them to pass on their cultural knowledge to our tour groups. It gives them insight into their destinations in an enjoyable manner and benefits both the localities and the clients.
Land and Office Space
- Sun Gate Tours leases the necessary office space for company needs. We try to maximize the utilization of the space we have.
- We keep our office tidy, clean, and comfortable, providing our staff with an appreciable working environment.
- We have never leased additional space for corporate offices and high street stores and will not do so in the future.
- We give our new staff members a complete briefing of our Responsible Travel Policy and provide them with a documented version.
- We give our employees complete awareness about recycling and request them to recycle cardboard, waste paper, plastics, and cans.
- We remind our staff repeatedly to switch off lights and appliances, not in use.
- We have aimed to recycle 100% of the paper and cardboard material we use.
- We store all our data electronically and do not rely on printouts or hard-copy records.
- Both our customers and agents make their reservations online, eliminating the need for paper.
- We email travel guides and other relevant information to the clients, reducing paper use.
- Our brochure is available as a soft copy, another means of saving paper.
- We use paper manufactured from renewable resources if we have to print brochures or other promotional materials. After usage, all the material will send for recycling.
- We do not buy new notepads and use the blank sides of other paper materials to jot down things.
- We refrain from unnecessarily printing emails and documents and follow the motto ‘Be Green. Read from the Screen’
- If we have to photocopy, we do it on both paper sides.
- We purchase recycled-material-made stationery.
- We purchase recycled toilet paper and other items produced using sustainable energy sources.
Electricity and Technology
- We use only those computers, photocopiers, desk phones, fax machines, and printers that efficiently use electricity. The same goes for other appliances like a kettle, fridges, and microwaves.
- If we have to replace our equipment, we sell them off to be reused or send them for recycling.
- We switch off all appliances every night in order to save electricity.
- We use energy-efficient lighting systems and request our staff to turn off the lights if there is ample sunlight in the room.
- We only buy recycled print cartridges and send them for recycling when they finish.
- We purchase rechargeable batteries.
- We avoid using disposable CDs and recycle mobile phones, currency, and coins.
- We run our heating and air conditioning systems at the optimal temperature to ensure energy efficiency and provide our staff with a comfortable environment.
- We provide our employees with warm fleece during the winter.
- The heating and air conditioning systems are used as consented to by the staff and turned off at night and on weekends.
- We have an enthusiastic staff that lives near the office.
- We encourage our employees to walk, cycle or use the public transport system when traveling.
- We regularly maintain our vehicles and use them only when necessary.
- We often use public transport or opt for carpooling in case of events.
- We boil only the water amounts which are required.
- We do not wash dishes in running water but opt for plugging the sink.
- We have installed water savers in the toilets.
- We use only biodegradable cleaning products that do not harm the environment.
- Other than human waste and toilet paper, we do not flush anything down the toilet.