download.jpg AITO Protect Pledge

As a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators we have taken part in the PROTECT pledge which means we as a company make a commitment which reflects our ethics and contributes to our aim to be a responsible tour operator. Here is our pledge for the year 2017:

Adventure Alternative is dedicated to sharing the benefits of tourism with our local staff and companies, and we are well known for being responsible and fair as well as professional and fun. We believe in compassionate leadership and have a company ethos to put collective social and economic development bottom line. In fact most of our employees have been with us for nearly twenty years and our clients describe our corporate personality as more like a family than a company. That integrity and reputation is something we’re very proud of!

We empower our staff through training and working together and we invest in their future. Each local Adventure Alternative company receives financial support and training so that it can develop as a success story. It takes long term commitment and money, knowledge and friendship.

In 2017 Adventure Alternative pledge to invest £2000 in training for around 50 staff in Nepal, Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco, Borneo and Russia. This will include English courses, mountain leadership, first aid and IT training. Plus another £1000 of assistance with their websites, social media and online promotion and an additional £1000 in personal equipment and technical clothing. We know that this makes our staff happier, helps their long term careers and ultimately provides safe, happy holidays which in turn leads to satisfied clients who want to travel with us again! This investment in people will, alongside the social development we provide with our charity Moving Mountains, continue to help breathe new life into communities and help people become the architects of their own success.

 Adventure Alternative mountain staff

And this is our follow up testimonial for the pledge: 

In 2017 Adventure Alternative provided £2700 of first aid training from the UK based First Aid Training Co-operative that provides international qualifications for all 19 staff in Kenya and Tanzania and for the mountain guides we provided a further specialist high altitude training programme for use on Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. We included a visit to the shops with the guides so they could buy themselves £1000 worth of mountain clothing which they liked very much!

Most tourism staff in developing countries just miss out altogether on this type of professional training, but clearly there can be no price put on safety and professionalism in the mountains. It’s a must, quite apart from the sense of self worth that it gives the staff. I recently helped guide several teams on Kilimanjaro and as a mountain guide myself I was hugely impressed with the knowledge of my team in managing health and high altitude symptoms.

“The most important aspect is that the training helps us save lives before the doctor or help arrives”, says Kelly Kioko, a safari guide with AA Kenya, “as an expedition leader I have taken clients up the mountain and sometimes we have had to help asthmatic clients and colleagues and make decisions and judgment on high altitude sickness symptoms in order to reduce risk”.

“It was great course that has helped both me and my colleagues to have the confidence of dealing with any incidents while on the trips”, explains Joseph Mungai, who works as an expedition leader with our youth groups in east Africa, “as a company we are now confident that whenever we send our clients either on safari or on the mountain they are with staff that can give first aid in case of an incident before calling for help.”

We are helping our staff use this sort of training online to improve the company profile so that they can compete equally with safari and mountain guides anywhere. At AA we’re very proud of our staff, most of whom have been with us for twenty years, but mostly I’m happy that they are proud of themselves!

Gavin Bate