Close Encounters Travel is part of Art Safari Ltd. Art Safari is ATOL registered No.9916 for your financial protection.
Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate
Close Encounters Travel believes that this code of travel will not only benefit travellers themselves, but also the people and environments of the country they are visiting. Through preparation and understanding, all those who travel with Close Encounters Travel can expect to have a wonderful and meaningful trip, secure in the knowledge that they are showing a high regard for the people and culture of their chosen destination.
Different places have different cultures with regards to costs, tipping and service charges, bartering, begging, guides, and tourist services. Guidebooks normally have sections explaining these things, and they are worth paying attention to, so you do not offend anyone or encourage a practice that authorities are trying to wipe out.
Local and community run guided tours are great to go on for educational value, and for the precious input they create for the benefit of local communities.
Be aware, in particular, of giving to children begging. Very often they are not the beneficiaries of your donation, and it also means they are less likely to go to school if they earn more for their family whilst begging.
Try to ensure that as much of your money as possible stays in the local community by buying local produce and souvenirs wherever possible, and not international brands. Sometimes, as much as 90 pence spent in every pound by tourists can end up outside the host country.
When bargaining, remember that small amounts can mean a lot more to the vendor than to you, so try to keep it light hearted! Remember how wealthy you will often be in comparison with the local people.
Respect the environment by taking your litter home with you, by not picking wild flowers and plants, by recycling as much as possible, and by taking waste like batteries home to your country to dispose of.
It you smoke, an empty film canister is perfect for storing your cigarette ends until you can find a bin.
If you go on a safari, or visit national parks, remember to stick to the routes the guides set, or the paths set out on the guide map. This will help preserve wildlife and natural habitats.
Please avoid buying products that are made from endangered animals and plants.
Some hotels and guesthouses have a policy of reusing bed sheets and towels to minimise the impact that washing can have. Washing costs money and detergents damage the environment.
Try to use as little water and electricity as possible, not just in the hotels, but also during every part of your trip.
Cultural differences should be appreciated, and cultural practices adopted wherever possible, without seeming patronising. If visiting a religious monument, make sure you are dressed appropriately.
It is very wise to know the local laws on drinking and drugs, and to obey them at all times. Quite often, alcohol and drugs are seen to be culturally offensive, as well as being dangerous to you.
Photographs can be the most memorable souvenirs of a holiday. Do remember it is offensive to take someone’s picture without their permission, and also, that flash photography can damage certain artworks. Sometimes a souvenir postcard has a better picture, and also supports the local economy.