April 19, 2019 at 8:00 am

EXO Travel promoting sustainable tourism

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For 25 years, EXO Travel has delivered exciting ways to experience Asia, including the attractions of Cambodia, with a focus on preserving its cultural and natural beauty. Responsible operations are part of our goal to become the most sustainable Destination Management Company (DMC) in Southeast Asia

To deliver on this promise, we have dedicated staff in each destination who oversee the sustainability of all processes, products, and suppliers to evaluate relevant environmental, social, and cultural concerns.

Although not unique to Cambodia, the problem of plastic waste is a top priority. Plastic bottles and bags, refreshing towels, and other plastic packaging are over-consumed both by local residents and tourists. Our estimates from 2016 MoT Cambodia statistics indicate that travelers consuming bottled water resulted in 1.7 million plastic bottles discarded in landfills as there are no local facilities for plastic recycling. With the number of tourists growing, we must address this unsustainable practice.

In 2015, EXO Travel started providing guests with refillable water bottles and access to water refill stations, developing partnerships with responsible hotels, restaurants, and transportation providers. We regularly assess our suppliers’ commitment to sustainability and promote those most responsible. For example, EXO prefers suppliers who use biodegradable or reusable packaging for picnic lunches. EXO Foundation also recently sponsored the creation of the REFILL MY BOTTLE mobile application to identifying water refill locations. We further raise visitor awareness through a pocket guidebook with tips for responsible tourism.

EXO also conducts in-house trainings to raise awareness of plastic consumption and instruct staff on reducing usage, including sorting office waste for recycling. In collaboration with local schools, EXO Cambodia initiated the Green River Project, which was awarded a CSR prize from Cambodia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFC) in 2017. This and other efforts by our CSR-focused EXO Foundation actively support responsible initiatives within local communities, such as educational books and animated videos for children called “Plastic Waste Never Dies,” available on YouTube in the Khmer language.

Our commitment to reducing plastic waste is a genuine pledge, and we are encouraged by a growing community who also refuse and reduce the use of single-use plastic, but there is much more to do. Please join us in our effort to promote sustainable tourism in Cambodia.