For almost 40 years we have built a wealth of experience organising holidays with a difference.
Different because they are off the beaten track, different because they unveil an unseen perspective on how local people live their lives and different because they give you an enriching and rewarding holiday.
Holidays with a difference are what ETC Travel is all about and that is who we are; a company made up of people dedicated to give our customers a special type of travel experience, one that is rewarding and enriching, and offering the chance to see countries in a slightly different way: The ETC Way
ETC was established almost 40 years ago to provide affordable and quality trips within Asia for overseas visitors, helping them to experience different cultures. Since then, the company has developed into a full-scale inbound tour operator offering a comprehensive range of tour programs in Thailand, Indochina and Myanmar.
We offer nowadays classical and cultural tours, MICE and team building activities, honeymoon trips, Thanatharee teak-barge river cruises and much more with a real emphasis on eco-tourism, active holidays, soft adventure, trekking, scuba diving, bicycling and anything from bird watching to yoga. Furthermore, we are also specialized in community-based and homestay trips as well as in volunteer programs.
Our trips are suitable for every age group, whether they are adventurous-minded travelers, history buffs, city explorers or beach lovers. With our well-trained staff and local representatives on the ground, we guarantee you the most enjoyable and hassle-free journey for your valuable clients.
The success of the company over such a long period is due to the standards laid down by the company’s late founder and which are still strongly adhered to today: honesty and integrity in everything we do and excellence in the service. Several awards over the years testify to our success in achieving these goals.
With our roots in student and cultural tours, the principle aim of the company remains the same: to offer travel products that are “educational” in the broadest sense of the word; giving our clients holidays that are not only enjoyable but rewarding and fulfilling.
Sustainability and conservation
The natural environment is a major concern for us. We do not want to see our country’s natural heritage harmed by tourism. Rather, we believe responsible tourism can help protect and preserve this heritage by creating awareness of its value.
In ETC Travel we have developed a strong and positive relationship with organizations and people that play a role in conservation in our area and we contribute with conservation organizations and projects.
We organise our activities in way to minimize their impact and we make sure that they do not conflict with conservation efforts. All our activities comply with the specific rules of the areas and we are visiting and we obtain the necessary permissions before visiting nature reserves or other areas where access is restricted.
We respect historic sites and when visiting them we make sure that no artifacts are removed. We respect the work of scientists by not entering scientific installations or work sites without making prior arrangements.
When any of our tours are going to touch upon the lives of local communities we always involve the community leaders in making the arrangements for conducting the tour. We want their input so that we can ensure that the local people derive the most benefit from their involvement in tourism and that no harm is done to their way of life or the local environment.
We encourage our customers to respect the culture and customs of the people whose communities we visit. We give our visitors a cultural briefing before visiting local communities.
We operate our tours in ways that benefit the communities we visit, for example by buying supplies and services locally and we encourage our clients to buy locally-made handicrafts and products.
Community based & Homestay and Volunteer Programs
For many years ETC Travel has made a big effort promoting “Community based & Homestay” trips as well as “Volunteer Programs”. We recognize how important is to support those in need and that is why we spend a lot of time and resources making these projects work.
These programs guarantee that when staying at a local community or doing volunteer work most of the benefit will revert directly in the community and the help will reach those who are really in need.
We believe that these programs are the perfect opportunity for customers who want to give something back and that they are the perfect way to learn about local cultures and to get in touch with local people.
In ETC Travel we believe that children have the right to be protected from any harm, abuse, exploitation, neglect or discrimination.
Our commitment is to guarantee the safety, welfare and protection to all children with whom we work. To guarantee this we train our employees in children’s rights and in how to prevent exploitation and abuse and how to report suspected cases.
We give the highest importance to this when recruiting personnel and volunteers. The recruiting process includes that all the volunteers enrolled in our programs should provide a recent police check and must understand and accept the codes of conduct of each of the projects we work with.
We also inform and train our staff and travelers about good practices and the prevention of any kind of exploitation of children. Our zero tolerance policy of exploitation of children means that we will immediately report to the authorities any suspected cases of abuse, harm or exploitation.
Choosing the right transportation makes a difference: we offer our customers transports that have the least environmental impact like train or bicycle.
On our treks or any other arrangements in the forests, all biodegradable refuse will either be burnt or buried and any non-biodegradable refuse will be carried out by the party and disposed of properly in town. Our groups are small and vary the routes taken in order to limit their impact on both the environment and the local people.
Whenever possible we choose accommodations compatible with local traditions, owned and operated by local people and that minimize negative environmental impacts
We train our staff on how to preserve the environment and local cultures. Where possible we hire local guides and tour leaders to conduct our tours and activities and provide them with the adequate training.
They will inform our customers of the local customs and traditions and on the appropriate “Codes of Conduct” for visitors, ensuring that all our customers behave respectfully specially in religious grounds and other sites of special significance.
Our name, Educational Travel Center (ETC Travel), clearly says it all. While travelling with us customers will have a perfect opportunity to learn about culture, religion, language, history, traditions, society, arts, local environment, geography, climate, wildlife species and habitats, as well as anything they may be interested in.
Our staff, guides, co-ordinators and especially the close contact with local people that we always promote, will provide our customers with the perfect opportunity to discover a different and unseen perspective of our region.
Safety and social responsibilities
Wherever we go, safety is always our top priority. 35+ years’ track record promises every safety precaution is always in place so that our customers can enjoy a smooth and safe journey.
Whatever activities may be involved in a package, our expert and well-trained tour leaders/guides will give proper instruction before commencing and ensure good supervision throughout. Life-jackets, protective head-gear, and other safety equipment will be provided according to the nature of each activity. In the unlikely event of a mishap, all clients travelling with ETC are automatically insured up to a maximum of THB 200,000 per person, depending on the activities involved.