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Responsible Travel

LADY EGYPT TOURS MISSION STATEMENT
Lady Egypt Tours proudly holds its position as one of the leading tour operators in Egypt, the Middle East and Northern Africa. We are thelocal ground operator for two large travel companies based in England, two other travel agents in Brazil, and one travel agent in China.

As part of our commitment to Responsible Travel, we always put the benefit of the local community in the host destination as our first priority. These local citizens are one of the essential components of the success of any tour we operate. Therefore, we have to grantee that they benefit from our operations, either financially by making profit through selling products and presenting services to our clients, or socially through mingling and exchanging experiences with people from other regions from around the world. One of our objectives is the capacity building of the workers and employees of the local community and supports them to learn new tools to help them in their work and in their personal life

We appointed ourselves as guards of the environment in which these locals live. We made it our mission to protect the environment by reducing any negative impact that our operations have on the environment. Our environment protection strategy covers a wide scope of issues ranging from promoting simple positive manners like safe waste disposal and energy saving to implementing a number of environmental purification programs.

We strongly believe that every person, including our employees, our guests, and the locals, has a significant role to play in order to preserve the environment and the natural resources and deliver them safely to the coming generations. Lady Egypt Tours acts as a coordinator to harmonize the efforts of all those parties in order to achieve one valuable goal at the end.  To make every single citizen of the world responsible for the environment and the community he lives in.
 
LADY EGYPT TOURS ECONOMIC RESPONSIBILITY

Employment And Training

We always recruit qualified local guides in all host destinations as a contribution to solve the unemployment problem that most countries in the Middle East face. In Egypt and Jordan, more than 90% of the workers employed by Lady Egypt Tours are from the local citizens of these two countries. Most of these employees have official long term contracts with social and medical insurance. We believe that a vital part of our role in the contribution to the local economy is to provide financial stability to the families of our employees.
 
After the Egyptian revolution that occurred on the 25thof January 2011 and due to its temporary negative impact of the tourism industry, many travel companies started applying downsizing procedures. Lady Egypt Tours, on the other hand, as a contribution to the local economy and the Egyptian community in such a challenging period, never dismissed any of its employees in any of the various departments of the company. Moreover, the basic salary of all the employees working for Lady Egypt Tours was never affected or reduced, dissimilar to employees working for most of the other travel companies in Egypt who suffered from severe salary reduction.

As part of our contribution to present aid to minorities and less fortunate sectors of the Egyptian community, we are proud that we recruited three handicapped employees working as office boys with official long term contracts.

An integral part of our contribution to support the local economy is through capacity building. The management of Lady Egypt Tours always aims to improve the abilities and skills of the company's employees by providing them with the opportunity to participate in several appropriate trainings. In 2011, we started implementing a new training program encouraging all of our company representatives who wish to improve their language skills to attend English courses. We regularly organize educational trips for the company representatives working in Cairo to Upper Egypt, and many other regions where we operate our tours, to give them practical explanation concerning the operations of the company in these destinations in order to expand their knowledge and increase their work experience

Most of our tours include a visit to a local market, like Khan El Khalili, the Aswan, and the Luxor local tourists market. This vital element in our trips benefits local inhabitants who sells their products to our guests

Financial Support To The Local Community          

Lady Egypt Tours supports two orphanages located in Egypt, financially by granting them a set amount of funds and materials on regular basis, and morally by giving our travelers the opportunity, if they wish, to visit these orphanages and offer the children gifts and affection.

In Jordan, we support the project entitled "Takeyt Um Ali". Takeyt is inspired by the Islamic notion of "Sadaqa" or providing food and aid for the needy and the hunger. This concept goes back to 11th century when a supplement was added to mosques with the aim of offering food and fresh water to the underprivileged inhabitants of any community. "Takeyt Um Ali", initiated by her highness Queen Haya, is a contemporary model of the medieval Takeyt, located in the heart of an underprivileged district in Amman, and providing food and various services to all the poor sectors of the Jordanian community.

Lady Egypt Tours provides the Bedouins we deal with, in Egypt and in Jordan, with financial support for the efforts they exert in welcoming and caring for our guests.

Cooperation With The Local Community
Our team of tour guides and company representatives always encourage travelers to buy different products especially handcrafts from local vendors. We urge the tourists to benefit the inhabitants of the community they are visiting by informing them that selling these handcrafts and souvenirs is the only mean of income for this unprivileged sector of the society.

An important operational policy that we apply involves the use of local transportation as much as possible. We make use of the local airplanes, buses, and trains as a contribution to the local economy of the country. Furthermore, we always encourage our guests to use local taxis as a convenient comfortable transportation especially in short distance rides.

We have a deal with a domestic printing house that manufactures all of our printed products using local materials like high quality Egyptian cotton and many other various Egyptian raw materials, this deal also provides working opportunities for many locals in the printing field in Egypt.

The perfect example of the cooperation between Lady Egypt Tours and the local community as a joint effort to contribute to the national economy is the organization of tourist's trips to visit the Bedouins and Nubians of Egypt and Jordan in their villages. These trips give the opportunity to the locals to benefit from providing the travelers with their homemade products and services. Moreover, it gives the tourists the chance to mingle with the people of the local community in their actual daily life providing the guests with a special authentic experience.

We advice our guests to benefit the inhabitants of the local community by making use of some of the simple services they provide especially in airports and train stations.

We inform our guests that tipping, or "Baksheesh" as we call it in the Arabic informal language, which many travelers view as a trivial matter, is a vital and sometimes the only mean to earn a living for many citizens belonging to the local community.

LADY EGYPT TOURS ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY

Environment Preserving Projects
We organize a yearly desert cleaning project in the Wadi Al Rayan protected area in the governorate of Al Fayoum located to the South of Cairo. All of our staff is encouraged to participate in this event as we gather our employees who work in different regions in Egypt and we head to Wadi Al Rayan. We take all the tools needed and we participate all together in raking dirt and rubbish from the sand and from the Qarun Lake. We collect all the waste in rubbish bags at the end of the day, drive to the local rubbish collection point, and ditch it in its proper place where the government makes use of it in recycling projects.

Lady Egypt Tours organizes a Nile purification project aiming at cleaning the water and banks of the river Nile on yearly basis. Our crew goes walking along the riverside in the governorates of Cairo and Giza raking up all the dirt and rubbish from the banks and smaller canals of the most important river in Africa.

Guarding The Environment

All vehicles we use in the operations of our tours are regularly maintained and modernized in order to diminish the carbon fumes released aiming to diminish the negative effect of this harmful chemical substance on the environment. In all our operations in Egypt and Jordan, we never make use of any horse carriages or camel safaris except from trusted owners who have long standing contracts with our company. Cruelty towards animals has always been an issue of concern in most of the countries of the Middle East where people mistreat animals and do not provide them with the suitable care. Lady Egypt Tours would never participate in such actions under any circumstances.

All the employees working for Lady Egypt Tours are encouraged not to smoke during working hours. Smoking is also prohibited in all of our vehicles, both for guests and also for the company's employees.

Putting in consideration all the harmful effects of Carbon dioxide on the environment, we try to reduce our use of local flights replacing them with other domestic less harmful means of transportation like sleeping trains which is also quite comfortable for our guests.

The fact that we only recruit local guides results in reducing out usage of local flights and all other means of transportation which contributes to the diminish the of carbon dioxide emissions
We always provide our guests with beneficial advices on how they can save energy and reduce their addition to the carbon dioxide emission. These advices include:
Turning off the air-conditions, heating, or lights before leaving their rooms
Reduce their usage of transportation means by using bikes or walking

In our Felucca trips, we kindly ask our guides to never dismiss any wastes in the river Nile and we provide them with special containers to collect their waste
In areas where water is considered amongst the valuable non-renewable natural resources, we always ask our guests to reduce their consumption of water and to always be careful to close the water tabs as soon as they finish their water usage.

We kindly ask our guests not to touch decorations and inscriptions in the temples, tombs, and palaces that they visit, especially in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor where tombs are richly ornamented
Our tour operators always ask divers to give special care to coral reefs that are spread all over the Red Sea in order to protect them from extinction

LADY EGYPT TOURS SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

We believe that the concept of responsible travel is a "two-way process" where the locals benefit from selling their products and providing their services to the travelers, while the travelers on the other hand take advantage of experiencing an authentic trip to the country and the community they are visiting. Social interaction between the locals and the travelers and the travelers having comprehensive understanding of the lives and cultures of the people living in the local community are vital features of any our tours. We try to achieve this objective through the following procedures and implementations

In Nubia, located in the far South of Egypt, we organize trips for our guests to visit the Nubian local inhabitants in their houses creating a marvelous opportunity for the travelers to interact with the Nubian in their actual daily lives. The tourists are offered traditional homemade meals and the Nubians take the opportunity to demonstrate their daily life activities including traditional bread baking which most children enjoy watching. All members of the family enjoy such tours. We organize trips for tourists to visit the Bedouins living in Wadi Rum in Jordan where the locals perform traditional music, present the tourists with meals, take some time to illustrate parts of the ancient history of Jordan. Travelers find these trips quite interesting as they get to directly view the local community and know original cultural information that is never mentioned in books or studies.

Political Situation
We make sure that our guests are fully aware of the major political events occurring in the host destination they are visiting. The tour guides present our guests with updated information concerning the political situation when they arrive at any city or region.

We ask our guests to do some reading concerning the political situation of the host country they are traveling to. We recommend some English news website to our guests to follow before coming and also during their stay in the host destination.

Cultural Sensitivity
Lady Egypt Tours provides each guest with a document containing all the behavioral features and advices tourists are expected to follow. These advices include the actions to avoid during trips to specific destinations where local inhabitants are not used to travelers coming to their region and the expected behavior of the tourists in their visits to certain religious structures, the dress code especially for ladies, since Egypt and Jordon, are all countries with a majority of Moslem population.

Dress Code
The Middle Eastern Countries are Muslim dominated, so respect must be given to this, particularly when visiting mosques and other religious monuments. It is suggested that ladies avoid ‘clingy, tight, suggestive’ attire, and stick with cool flowing cottons. Long sleeved shirts and pants, in busy city areas. Beach attire is fine onboard the felucca cruise or Nile cruise and at beach resorts. Shorts are rarely seen in cities; in fact Arabian men choose to wear long pants.

Religion
Some religions and customs may seem strange, complicated and at times unfathomable but to local people they are important so be respectful.

Ramadan, when adherents of the Muslim faith fast during daylight hours, results in many businesses closing during daylight hours, particularly of an afternoon, however this does not generally apply to businesses that cater predominantly to tourists. The start/finish date for Ramadan is different from year to year. In the evenings during Ramadan, the evening meal called Iftar [breaking the fast] is a happy occasion, which often breaks into a lively party celebration-an interesting feature to visitors. Ramadan culminates in a three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr, which involves joyous feasting, and all things merry. Although visiting non-Muslims are not expected to starve during daylight hours, it is considered impolite to ‘stuff one’s face’ with food or drink in public, the exception being in known tourist zones.

Language
Arabic is the official language of most countries in the Middle East; however English is widely spoken in major towns and tourist centers. Whilst English is considered to be the international language for world travel, the locals will immensely appreciate a little effort on your part, in communicating a few simple words and phrases. It’s a common courtesy and also fun to immerse oneself in the culture. Whilst no-one is anticipating you should be a Rhodes scholar in the general command of spoken Arabic, just a few words can go a long way in forging congenial situations in shops and markets, and can result in comical and light-hearted meetings.

CONCLUSION
With adherence to the policy followed by Lady Egypt Tours, we provide culturally and environmentally sensitive tours in Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and IsraelThis means of Tourism contributes economically, socially and environmentally in the most effective way in our host destinations. Our feedback reflects that our tours find satisfaction with our guests and provide them with the most enjoyable experiences.
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