2020

As the only sea tour operator in Thailand committed to achieve Travelife certficate, we at Similancharter & Tour understand our key role and influence in the sustainability development of tourism in Phang Nga area. Therefore, we are committed to promoting sustainability. We aim to follow, implement and promote good sustainability practices to maximise positive impacts and minimise negative impacts on tourism of our operations and to influence our customers, parters, and competitors to do the same.

Our sustainability policy is divided into 8 themes. Each theme consists of a set of principles and practical actions accordingly.

1. Sustainability Management & Legal compliance
We commit to sustainability management, practiced by these following actions:

  • To have an appointed employee who is responsible for sustainability coordinator tasks.
  • To have a sustainability mission statement that is communicated to customers, partners and suppliers.
  • To have an accessible and written sustainability policy that aims for a reduction of the negative social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts of the company’s activities and includes employee related health and safety aspects.
  • To have an accessible and written sustainability policy that aims for a reduction of the negative social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts of the company’s activities and includes employee related health and safety aspects.
  • To conduct baseline assessment of the company’s performance on sustainable practices.
  • To have sustainability action plan with clear targets, actions, measures, responsibilities and time planning.
  • To develop documented procedures to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the sustainability policy, objectives and targets.
  • To discuss the progress of the action plan and take corrective measurements at sustainability meetings, if necessary.
  • To ensure company’s transparency in sustainability by public reporting and communicating.
  • To ensure that all staff are fully aware of our Sustainability Policy and are committed to implementing and improving it.

We commit to complying with all national legislation, regulations and codes of practice.

2. Internal management: social policy & human rights

We commit to sustainable internal management by having clear written and well-communicated social policy that includes the following principles:

  • To grant employees the freedom of employment and contract termination with notice (ideally minimum one month) and without penalty.
  • To include labor conditions according to national labor law and a job description in the employment contract.
    Wage rate is to be mentioned in the contract and equals or above the national legal wage.
  • To determinate and compensate of overtime working hours based on agreement.
  • To provide medical and liability insurance according to the national law.
  • To have health and safety policy for employees which complies to national legal standards.
  • To have first aid sets and trained staff are available at all relevant locations.
  • To obey national concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment.
  • To have documented effective procedures in place for employees to voice out their complaints and expectations.
  • To have a measurement system for employee satisfaction on a regular basis.
  • To provide periodic guidance and training for employees on roles, rights and responsibilities regarding health and safety issues. This includes fire and relevant natural disasters.
  • To create opportunities for students in participating in traineeship/internship/apprenticeship.

We commit to practice human rights by ensure the enforcement of following practices:

  • To prohibit discriminations, regard to recruitment, conditions of employment, access to training and senior positions, or promotion in terms of gender, race, age, disability, ethnicity, religion/beliefs or sexual orientation.
  • To ensure all employees have an equal chance and access to resources and opportunities for personal development through regular training, education.

3. Internal Management: Environment and community relations

We commit to practice environmental protection and enhance community relations by ensuring the enforcement of following practices:

  • Actively reduce the use of disposable and consumer goods by operating plastic-free tours and reducing the amount of disposable plastic used in office to minimum.
  • Favor the purchase of sustainable goods and office supply.
  • Purchase products in bulk, to reduce the amount of packaging materials.
  • Set copy and printing machines by default to double-sided printing or other forms of paper saving mode.
  • Use cleaning materials which are non-hazardous, non-eutrophic and biodegradable and are certified with an eco-label, if locally available.
  • Print brochures on environmentally friendly paper, with a printing company that works with a certified environmental management system, if locally available at reasonable costs.
  • Implement measurements to reduce brochure wastage.
  • Purchase energy efficient lighting.
  • Switch off Lights and equipment when not in use, use automatic switch on/off system with timers or movement sensors and set equipment by default in the energy saving mode, where this is feasible.
  • Prefer low energy equipment when buying new items, including considerations of cost and quality.
  • Have an active policy to reduce water consumption, implemented and monitored on a monthly or yearly basis for benchmark purposes.
  • Comply with the national legislation concerning waste disposal.
  • Develop and implement a solid waste reduction and recycling policy, with quantitative goals.
  • To take all the waste back to mainland on our tours for reducing the waste problem in the national parks.
  • Take measures to reduce the amount of packaging materials and not provide non-recyclable or non- biodegradable package materials.
  • To not use (non-refillable) plastic bottles of drinking water neither at office nor on tours. ïSeparate all materials which can be recycled and organize collection and proper disposal.
  • Implement waste reducing methods when using ink and toner cartridges for printing and copying, whenever feasible.
  • Recycle or properly dispose of batteries.
  • Comply with national legislation of wastewater treatment, which should be reused or released safely.
  • Minimize and substitute the use of harmful substances and manage properly the storage, handling and disposal of chemicals.
  • Use lead-free and water based paints, both inside and outside, when locally available.
  • Measure and reduce staff related travel and use more sustainable modes of transport. Calculate its emissions, with the aim to reduce and compensate, through a reliable locally available program.
  • Maintain and properly check motorized company vehicles, to reduce emissions and energy use and make sure they comply with the legal emission standards.
  • Provide periodic guidance, training and/or information to all staff members, about their roles and responsibilities with respect to internal environmental practices.
  • Contribute to the protection and preservation of local historical, archaeological, culturally, and spiritually important properties and sites, and not impede access to them by local residents.

4. Partners
Our aim is to make sustainable development concrete to each and every partner within our business.

We commit to this by:

  • Informing key partners on the Travelife and national tourism standards.
  • Informing key partners about our sustainability policy and that they are expected to comply with it and/or communicate it to final customers where relevant.
  • Ensuring that partner companies comply with all relevant national laws protecting the rights of employees.

5. Transport
We try to ensure that vehicles used on tours do not cause more than average pollution. We believe that transport is an important aspect of sustainable tourism, and we do our best to decrease the average pollution level.

We commit to this by;

  • Selecting the most sustainable options considering price and comfort when selecting transport options to the destination.
  • Maintaining the vehicles used on our tours regularly in order to minimize the risk for engine fails and spills and maximize the engine efficiency.

6. Excursions and activities
We value animal and community welfare extremely high and aims at tours that only leave a minor footprint. We are safeguarding the authenticity of the communities and the natural environment, and are strongly against harming wildlife and polluting the environment.

We commit to this by:

  • Advising guests on behavior standards during excursions and activities with a focus on respecting the local culture, nature, and environment.
  • Not offering any excursions that harm humans, animals, plants, natural resources such as water and energy, or which are socially and culturally unacceptable.
  • Having skilled and/or certified guides to guide our guests in sensitive cultural sites, heritage sites, or ecologically sensitive destinations.

7. Tour leaders, local representatives and guides
We aim at involving as many locals as possible by employing them in the tourism business. We stand for a fair and safe working environment that supports and respects local communities.

We commit to this by:

  • Ensuring that all employees have a written employment contract, including labour conditions and a job description, and fully understand the terms and conditions.
  • Preferring to employ local tour leaders, local tour guides, boat crew, drivers, cooks, and other local staff in case of equal ability, and provide training as required.
  • Paying tour leaders, guides, boat crew and other local staff contracted by us at least a living wage that is equal to or above the legal minimum or relevant industry standard.
  • Ensuring that our tour guides, boat crew and other employees under contract are qualified and trained regularly.
  • Having our tour leaders and guides inform clients on relevant sustainability matters in the destination (e.g. protection of flora, fauna, and cultural heritage, resource use), social norms and values (e.g. tips, dressing code and photography) and human rights.

8. Customer communication and protection
Customers welfare and information are very important to us. At Similancharter & Tour, we ensure clear and constant communication and high protection to our clients.

Prior to booking, we commit to this by:

  • Ensuring that customer privacy is not compromised.
  • Complying with relevant standards and voluntary codes of conduct in marketing and advertising messages, and not promise more than is delivered.
  • Making product and price information clear, complete and accurate, with regard to the company and its products and services, including sustainability claims.
  • Providing destination information, including sustainability aspects, which is factually correct, balanced and complete.
  • Clearly informing (potential) direct customers, about sustainability commitments and actions.

After booking and during holidays, we commit to this by:

  • Providing Information to consumers about the natural surroundings, local culture and cultural heritage in the holiday destination during the tours.
  • Informing consumers about key sustainability aspects and issues in the destination.
  • Keeping a contact person and a telephone number permanently available for emergency situations.
  • Training personnel and keep guidelines available, on how to deal with emergency situations.
  • Providing clients with guidelines and/or codes of conduct for sensitive excursions and activities, to minimize negative visitor impact and maximize enjoyment.
  • Encouraging clients to donate to local charity and sustainable initiatives.

After holidays, we commit to this by:

  • Measuring systematically client satisfaction and take into account the results, for service and product improvements.
    Including sustainability as an integral part of the research into client satisfaction.
  • Having clear procedures in case of complaints from clients.