Temehu Tourism Services is a locally-owned Libyan
business, aiming to promote responsible tourism in Libya. We believe the best
way to do this is to define the problem, highlight the issues involved, let the
people know about them, provide guidelines and recommendations, and campaign
for change. We are not claiming to be perfect, but we are serious about this
approach to responsible travel and our website clearly reflects our ethos. Documenting
Libya's heritage and protecting the environment is of paramount importance to
all of us.
The environmental cost of travel and tourism
has been a recent worry to a number of concerned organisations and individuals
from around the world, to a degree where many caring and responsible travellers
were left confused as to whether they should continue to travel
and enjoy the wonders of our planet or just give up the idea altogether in order
to free themselves of guilt.
We say that, like everything else humans do,
we must learn from past experiences and do all we can to help and improve our
conditions. We are all part of one community and we must work as a community.
Our ecotourism section of this website will attempt to collect as much information
about responsible travel and provide some standard guidelines responsible travellers
hopefully can follow in order to continue their travels and
enjoy nature's wonderful planet. Of course, it will help if tourists and
travellers become more responsible in their choosing and thereby applying some
pressure to force global giants to pay more attention.
Libyan Economy: we are a Libyan tourism
company operating from Libya, and we employ only local services in our programs.
All our camping staff, drivers and desert experts are locals who are well acquainted
with the Sahara. This means that all operational costs of our tours pour directly
into the Libyan economy. Therefore booking your holiday directly with us would
make a big difference to all of us in Libya and will help towards developing
Wages: our staff, drivers, desert
experts and guides are paid well, and compensated
if clients cancel their tours once an agreement made. All our employees and guides
are briefed about our responsible travel policy and have pledged to follow our
Local Markets: we usually include visits to local markets
in Tripoli's Old City, like Souk Atturk, so that our visitors can buy their souvenirs
directly from Libyan traders, if they need to. We also visit the local weekly
markets in other towns and villages whenever they coincide with our tours to
allow our visitors the opportunity to buy directly from market traders and local
craftsmen, instead of from larger shops. We also encourage buying directly from
the Tuareg nomads during desert tours in order to help them benefit from the
influx of tourists. Giving them some gifts, like solar-powered gadgets, or books
and toys for their children, will bring great joy and happiness to their lives
in the harsh Sahara.
World Wide Exposure of Libyan Crafts: by creating web
pages for the various traditional crafts and trades in Libya,Temehu.com hopes
to publicise local industries and generate an international interest in Libyan
culture. The best real example for this is our Tuareg
jewellery web page which has generated enquiries from Europe and America
and which we have passed on to local Tuareg blacksmiths and traders to follow
Wildlife: we believe it is our responsibility
as a tour operator to inform our visitors about wildlife issues and provide them
with as much information as possible in order to help them become aware of the
local environment and environmental issues. Our website provides information
and guidelines about wildlife and camping
in Libya, and also some common
tips and guidelines in this section, like: taking fire wood only from dead
wood found about and never from living trees or bushes, and not cornering animals,
especially snakes, and allowing them enough space to feel safe.
Keep Libya Clean: we believe the biggest
environmental concern that Libya should pay attention to is the litter catastrophe.
We have decided to come out with the problem, give the Libyan government a helping
hand, and bring the issue to the attention of both the Libyan people and companies
as well as foreign tourists and visitors, some of whom disregard the issue and
discard their garbage without any care. Our online campaign to
Keep Libya Clean (accessed from the above menu) is hoped to increase awareness
of the litter problem, especially plastic and its danger to wildlife and human
health, and to educate and encourage both locals and tourists to help towards
protecting Libya's rare environment. We have used some strong graphic and text
imagery to put our message across.
Energy & CO2 Emission: we plan the
routes of our itineraries to minimise carbon emissions by using overland transport
and by avoiding domestic flights wherever is possible. But sometimes visitors,
in order to save time in their short holidays, request internal flights to be
included in the itinerary. We also employ energy-saving tips, such as printing
only the necessary emails and documents, reducing the use of paper work as much
as possible, and avoiding leaving equipment on "stand-by", unless required for
safety and/or security reasons.
Help towards preserving local culture: we
are committed to cataloguing as much of the local culture as possible, by compiling
reports and taking photos and publishing our results in our website for the world
to see and enjoy. We have devoted a great deal of time and effort to making our
website a window to Libya.
Festivals: we have created a web page
to cover a number of traditional festivals in Libya and to provide some free
information about their activities and publicise their events for wider
exposure. We also attend and include visits to these festivals in our itineraries
whenever they coincide with our clients visits.
Museums: we have created Libya's first
online museum of Libyan museums, to help towards preserving and documenting Libya's
heritage, and make it available to all.
Traditional Crafts: we have created special
web pages to catalogue Libyan traditional crafts to help preserve many of the
fast-disappearing industries, such as tribal jewellery, fetish crafts, pottery,
weaving, and leather industries.
Culture: we have included various articles
and reports about all aspects of Libyan life and culture in our website, because
we believe learning about local cultures helps develop good relationship with
the locals who would respect you once they know that you know about their concerns
and life and that you respect their culture.
Code of Conduct: we have compiled a full
travel guide (temehu.com/travel-guide-to-libya.htm) in which we have
highlighted the main issues one should and should not do.