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Traveller’s Code

Red Dot believes that companies have a social and environmental responsibility that goes beyond present-day legislation. We strive to ensure that travel has a positive impact on local communities and eco-systems. We have therefore voluntarily developed a ‘Travellers Code’ which provides a general outlines of our commitments to our guests, employees, partners, local communities and the environment. In brief, we are committed to:

1. Providing up-to-date social and political information
2. Minimising potential detrimental environmental impacts
3. A sensitive relationship with local cultures and communities
4. Fair relationships with suppliers, partners and employees

Economic responsibility:

1. Red Dot employs local sales staff, IT consultants and writers in Sri Lanka to handle the majority of holiday enquiries, technical development, and writing for the Red Dot website.  All employees are contracted on ‘fair’ terms.

2. Red Dot offers a full range of accommodation but specialises in the promotion of small local-owned accommodation, including private villas, bungalows and guesthouses, which provides good economic returns to local communities.

3. Red Dot Tours employs only local guides and drivers. Moreover, Red Dot is very concerned about the welfare of its drivers and guides, believing that there services have been undervalued in the past and that too little attention has been paid to the quality of their working conditions. We employ all our drivers on fair terms, ensuring they receive a proper wage for their services and have access to acceptable facilities, including accommodation. All drivers receive a voluntary bonus equivalent to a 12.5% increment above the industry wide wage average in Sri Lanka.

4. Red Dot's drivers and guides will suggest where you can purchase appropriate locally-produced products and gifts, rather than imported goods, including good local restaurants that specialise in Sri Lanka’s aromatic and spicy cuisine.

5. Red Dot is committed to the support of local-level economic, social and environmental community projects in Sri Lanka and donates 2.5% of net annual profit to selected charities. For the forthcoming year we have committed to making a contribution to Friends of the South, a Galle-based charity that has been managing small-scale tsunami-related projects.

Environmental responsibility:

1. Red Dot's `Sri Lanka Advice’ offers tips and guidelines to all travellers on how to avoid causing negative impacts on environmental eco-systems and advice on how they can make best use of local services. In particular, Red Dot encourages water and electricity conservation. Travellers are provided information on waste pollution and also urged to be careful when shopping not to encourage unsustainable practices such as illegal logging and coral reef mining.

2. Red Dot actively engages with all the hotels and guesthouses each year to discuss ways in which the ecological footprint of guests can be reduced, for example through towel folding rather than daily washing and using solar power for water heating. We communicate our belief that environmental responsibility is essential to tourism’s sustainability and are encouraging sustainable practice by introducing a Green Hotel Guide in 2005 to help environmentally conscious travellers select their accommodation. This voluntary guide will identify Sri Lanka hotel's that are tackling environmental and conservation issues seriously.

3. Red Dot adheres to sustainable office practices, both in Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom. We re-use and recycle paper and print cartridges. We reduce paper waste by avoiding unnecessary printouts. We use a website and e-mail as our primary marketing platform and avoid the publication of glossy brochures and mailshots. We do not spam. We provide sales consultants with the necessary equipment required to work from home when possible to reduce transport.

Social responsibility:

1. Red Dot avoids large package groups – with the exception of cricket tours – and encourages `small group travel’ which provides a richer travelling experience and prevents local communities in remote regions for being overrun.

2. Red Dot actively supports various local development projects (see above). In the aftermath of the Asian Tsunami we are working in particular with Friends of the South, a Galle-based charity managing small-scale community projects.

3. Red Dot will offer advice on and help arrange destination visits to local social development projects if requested by the client.

4. Red Dot provides all clients with up-to-date pre-departure information that address important social and cultural issues and help our clients be aware of local customs.

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