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    Responsible Travel Program Design Criteria

    Ibike programs are small group exploration of the fascinating cultural and ethnic diversity, and the natural and social complexity of the world. The programs explore cultural and historic sites, museums, public art, architecture, religion, ecological niches, and realities of daily life. We meet with unique local people and enjoy bicycling beautiful back roads. The programs are designed to be 1) environmentally friendly; 2) economic beneficial and decentralized; 3) educational, enriching and culturally sensitive; and 4) accessible to ordinary active people.

    Criteria & Considerations For Cultural Bicycle Tour Itineraries:

    • Demonstrate the diversity and the complexity of area (i.e. culture, history, economics, social programs, environment, and architecture).
    • Availability of food, drinking water and lodging.  See below for additional lodging criteria.
    • Average mileage of 40 miles per day.  First few days 20 to 30 miles - longer days, up to 60 miles, O.K. near the end of the tour.  Mileage needs to be matched to topography and road conditions.  Sections with hills and/or bad roads might cut the practical daily distance by 25-50%.
    • 8-15 day long itinerary, with two contrasting itineraries in the same region back-to-back.
    • Safety of route (i.e. road surface, traffic volume, large vehicles, speeds, road space).
    • Personal security, especially for single women.
    • Unbroken travel by bike, exception maybe at the beginning, the end or once in the middle where an opportunity to experience some form of public transport (i.e. bus, train, boat) is provided.
    • Loop route (or linear route with return by public transport) - very little or no backtracking.  Loops are preferable so people can store bags at first hotel.
    • Once a week spend two nights in the same place, with something interesting to program.
    • Design tour to avoid needing to carry camping and cooking equipment, and the use of a support vehicle.
    • People-to-people opportunities, direct contact with local people in a meaningful, natural, culturally sensitive manner (visit to schools, development projects, social programs, unique industry, etc.)
    • Economically beneficial to local indigenous segments of the economy.
    • Environmentally friendly in the context of local environmental conditions, resources and constraints.
    • Minimal cycling in highly congested areas, even if it requires transferring to public transport.
    • Spend majority of time away from traditional tourist destinations.
    • Marketable theme

    Criteria & Considerations for Cultural Bicycle Tour Accommodation:

    • A variety of situations for over night accommodations (hotels (small and simple to moderate), dorms, private homes, etc.).  Sufficient capacity for 12-15 people.
    • Water for drinking (may require filtering), bathing (be it a bath, shower, bucket or hot springs), and laundry (including bucket or basin for washing in).
    • Client privacy and security
    • Equipment security
    • Cleanliness, orderliness and ventilation -- not necessarily western sterility.
    • Easy bicycle access to rooms (preferred), or to secure bike storage area.
    • Service with a smile.  Friendly, helpful management and staff.  Smiles should start from the watchman in front.  No rude hangers-on clustered around the entrance.
    • Environmentally friendly in the context of local environmental conditions, resources and constraints.
    • Juxtaposition to points of interest (historical, economic, social programs) and other services (markets, restaurants, etc.)
    • Character, authenticity, charm.  Furnishings, décor and landscaping should be consistent with price.  Even if not elegant they should be attended to, clean and in good repair.
    • Local ownership of lodging, restaurants and services.
    • Electricity, modern plumbing, air-conditioning, swimming pool, etc. and not required, but if they are part of the price they should work or the price should change.

    Criteria & Considerations for Cultural Bicycle Excursions:

    • Guides must know their stuff: cultural, history, natural science, etc.
    • Guides must have a level of fitness so that they don’t struggle with the bicycling.
    • Personnel should have good hygiene and should not walk around with cigarettes dangling from their mouths.

    To Responsible Travel, Tourism, Cultural Programs, Improving International Understanding

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