Eco-tourism and Pejego Tours
By: Tania van Velthuizen & Sean Collett
29 May 2020
Pejego Tours became part of the Eco-Tourism Society (TIES) in January 2020. We will discuss what will be done to preserve the natural habitats and area’s in the wonderful country of Suriname. But for now, let us start by looking into the actual definition of Eco-Tourism as it is often perceived in various ways….
What is Eco-tourism?
Eco-tourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education” (TIES, 2015). Education about Eco-tourism is meant to be inclusive for both staff and guests!
Eco-tourism in village Semoisi
The most important reason why we were able to join TIES is that we really make experiences possible for the tourists. We let tourists experience village life in the Maroon village of Semoisi where the villagers belong to the Saramacca tribe. Within the local community, the villagers have been trained to accommodate, guide, and entertain the tourists, this has a real added value to the Eco-tourism aspect. Because of this, the money generated from tourism stays within the community and small businesses can be generated within the area. Not only does this eco-tourism affect the locals but it is a real once in a lifetime experience for the tourists, they get an entirely new vision about the local life in Suriname.
Resorts that supports Eco-tourism
In Suriname, we work together with Bergendal Eco & Cultural River resort. They support the local economy, work with local products and their resort blends it very easily with the jungle environment. See this movie about this resort!
Our partner Footprint Travel in the Netherlands received also in January 2020 an award from Travelife for the sustainable tourism holidays they offer to their tourists. Because of that Pejego Tours and Footprint Travel have signed an MOU where the following was agreed:
- Footprint Travel will continue to offset CO2 emissions not only from flights but also from local transportation and accommodations during the tour.
- We will reduce the use of plastic and work to reduce it.
- We provide customers with the correct information in advance so that they can make informed decisions about the destinations they visit.
- Communities are involved in and will benefit from tourism.
- Responsible and respectful of local, natural, and cultural environment is handled.
- Responsible tourism is promoted by our customers so that they can be animal-friendly travelers, for example by looking responsibly at wildlife in their natural environment.
- We continue to pursue our own commitment to conservation and economic development where we operate.
- We continue to support an ethical and responsible interaction with the Flora and Fauna.
Pejego Guides; where knowledge matters!
During our training with the tour guides the points above were thoroughly discussed. We mainly talked about the current situation of sustainable tourism in Suriname. Our goal for the future is to become 100% sustainable! We want to combine sustainable tourism with the best experiences for our tourists in order to make unforgettable memories for everybody!
If this blog triggered you to experience village life, read more about our Eco-tourism trip to Semoisi here: https://pejegotours.com/semoisi-authentic-in-4-days/
“Wherever you want to go in the Guianas, Pejego Tours makes it possible!”
Pejego Tours takes care of you from airport to airport! Do you want to visit all the 3 Guianas; Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana? Or only Suriname? We arrange everything for you; hotels, one- day trips, multiple day trips, and airport service in Suriname.
Just give us your wishlist and Pejego Tours will take care of it.
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Tania van Velthuizen is the owner of Pejego Tours. She was born and raised in Suriname. She studied Surinamese law and loves to travel. Before going to Europe, she worked at the Ministry of Regional Development, so she visited every bit of the Amazon rainforest. At the time, she fell in love with everything it had to offer, including the Amerindians and the Maroons, the fauna and flora. She also wrote a book on the land rights of Indigenous people and the descendants of the Maroons.
Sean Collett is the intern at Pejego Tours and was born and raised in the Netherlands. He is studying International Tourism Management at BUAS and has traveled to many places for his internships, such as Birmingham and Sweden. Sean loves to experience cultural diversity and has a real passion to learn about languages.
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