BANGKOK, 20 August 2019
Making It Easy for Students to Be Responsible Tourists in Asia
GROUND Asia now prepares student groups to handle sensitive issues such as single-use plastics, photography, child safety, giving responsibly, and more
Responsible Tourists in Asia
GROUND Asia’s responsible tourism guidelines are free to everyone in educational travel here.
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Student travel company GROUND Asia has integrated responsible traveller training into all its community programs in Asia.
The move means that students, teachers and faculty are educated to do the right thing on sensitive issues such as single-use plastics, responsible photography, child safety, and giving donations when visiting communities in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Sri Lanka.
The initiative follows GROUND Asia’s transformative responsible training workshop for its staff in Mai Chau, Vietnam in March. The workshop was created to address challenges that kept arising during student trips to Asia.
“Following the workshop, best practices from four years of leading student groups in Asia were distilled into new practical guidelines, policies and procedures for all GROUND Asia trips,” says Lauren Groves, the GROUND Asia general manager.
The training manual that GROUND Asia now adheres to means that the company’s field operations are closely aligned to the values and aims of the UN’s
Sustainable Development Goals.
There’s no limit on who can use the new responsible traveller modules. The guidelines are being made available to everyone – students, teachers, faculty, host communities, education sector suppliers and tour operators. Even competitors to GROUND Asia can use them to train their own staff, guides and host communities.
“The aim is to provide thoughtful, practical and responsible guidelines that benefit everyone in travel, education and related fields,” says Groves.
For students and teachers, the new guidelines are shared in pre-departure materials and the in-country orientations for each group. They study the materials before they participate in projects in mangrove villages in Indonesia, schools in Cambodia, medical student classes in Sri Lanka, or hilltribe villages in Thailand, to name a few projects.
The training is “concise, factual and informative,” she says. “We want to lead the conversation about issues, rather than simply dictate behaviour.”
Groves adds that responsible traveller values learned at an early age will give students and the public at large the skills and perspectives to help them be responsible travellers for the rest of their lives.
GROUND Asia has made its new responsible tourist training guidelines available publicly in a series of presentations
Further information:
Since 2015, GROUND Asia has worked with some of the most disadvantaged communities in Southeast Asia. These include people who are vulnerable or struggling with poverty, lack of access to services and infrastructure, and even the early adverse effects of climate change. GROUND Asia partners with communities across Asia to assist in their sustainable development. The communities it works with are its clients. To meet their expectations, GROUND Asia aims to empower communities through mutually beneficial programs to ensure their needs come first. GROUND Asia integrates
UN Sustainable Development Goals into its programs. Visit

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