TUCAN Travel has a clear focus on interacting with local communities, operating small group tours in South America that stay in smaller hotels and guesthouses, locally owned where possible.
“We do not believe in resorts or ‘all inclusive’ where customers don’t get out and contribute to the area,” explained the company’s Marketing Executive Emma Nelson. “Except for breakfasts and in more remote areas…meals are not included specifically so that customers have the chance to explore the areas themselves and eat where they like.”
Additionally, the tour leaders promote local establishments so that customers not only get authentic food but also contribute to the economy. Tour guides also take travellers to smaller craft markets where customers can pick up locally made souvenirs and clothing instead of going to shops where they are mass produced and imported.
“We [also] do not offer large coach tours and instead our tours mostly travel by either public transport or when necessary private transfers, where the supplier is always a local transport business,” says Nelson. “Patagonia is the only destination in South America where we use our own vehicle, because the region is so remote it is necessary.”