22 February 2018
What is TourCert ?
TourCert, the non-profit company for certification in tourism, awards the TourCert label for CSR to tourism companies. CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is the responsibility assumed by a company for its impact on society and on the environment.
To be TourCert-certified, companies must develop their main activity following environmental and social requirements and they must contribute to a sustainable development. It’s not just about making isolated « good deeds », it’s about following a strategic approach, following an ethical corporate culture and taking into account the groups concerned.
The TourCert certification system supports the touristic companies in their road through a sustainable economy, makes their contribution to sustainability transparent, settles systematically environmental and social objectives, raises awareness among the collaborators, makes them take part in the project and promotes a process of continuous improvements.
TourCert combines guidelines based on the process and on the performance with a system of management and reports. Companies must therefore fulfill certain management, reporting and performance requirements.
Andean Lodges, a sustainable tourism
In Andean Lodges, our key goals are to integrate the local population in our operations to protect Andean cultural identity and local values, and to promote respect for the culture of the communities. We lead all our efforts to work with local communities on the development of their living quality standards while also helping to preserve a traditional way of life that has almost disappeared in many parts of the Andes highlands. Local communities are co-owners of Andean Lodges. They are active participants in all decisions taken at the board level of the company. All our field operations and services along our route are directed and carried out by these communities.
Through such actions, the development of the villagers’ professional skills has raised their self-esteem, created and improved employment opportunities. Thanks to the economic benefits generated by our operations, we have invested in the improvement of the educational infrastructure, in the protection of the area’s cultural and natural diversity, in the economic support to local organizations to participate in regional livestock and handicraft fairs.
To preserve the natural environment in our areas of operation, we operate our lodges following a set of ecolo gical guidelines. We’ve integrated composting tanks and double filtration systems in our lodges to treat our waste water and prevent water contamination. Organic matter is composted in Chillca and recyclables such as plastic and glass are transported to Cusco. We don’t use electricity at any of our lodges. We work in conjunction with Nature Services Peru S.A. to offset our carbon dioxide footprint, by means of promoting sustainable management of Peru’s ecosystems in the Amazon.
Our housekeepers and caravan drivers wear the traditional garments, thus, seeing our visitors’ admiration for the beauty of the traditional Andean attire. All our itineraries include performances of traditional music. We’ve also incorporated the storytelling of Andean myths in our guide’s talks and we organize presentations of sacred Andean ceremonies.
We have many reviews in international and national press, not only for the quality of our product, but because of the company’s profile and work with local communities. The Apu Ausangate trail is an experience that goes far beyond a hiking trip. It allows experiencing Andean culture intimately and encourages the preservation of Andean cultural identity by proudly sharing an inspiring traditional way of life with visitors.