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Giving Back in Asia

Since 2006, Selective Asia has been directly investing in the lives and lands of the communities and regions we operate within. We support the retention and promotion of local cultures, and work alongside organisations that we believe are bettering the lives of the people, wildlife and environment in our destinations.

It is our firm belief that by bringing our clients to Asia, we are duty-bound to promote good travel practices, and we do everything within our power to ensure that the communities we love to travel amongst are flourishing.

What is Selective Asia doing?

As a tour operator specialising in Asia we are committed to donating a percentage of profits to charitable foundations and organisations within Asia and to fund initiatives we arrange ourselves. 

With so many worthwhile charities and non-government organisations (NGOs) operating throughout Asia, selecting those to work with is never an easy task and it’s an area that is always under review.

The case studies set out below are projects and organisations that we have worked with for a number of years, however we're always looking out for new ways to help. Our charity initiative lets us donate our own funds, and provides a suitable structure for clients who wish to contribute safely towards truly worthwhile causes.

Lone Buffalo

Lone Buffalo (LB) are an inspirational community project based in Phonsavan (Laos) dedicated to improving opportunities for young people from rural backgrounds through their free English tuition, sport and creative skills programmes.  Besides the excellent work done in the classroom, LB also operate an acclaimed football coaching programme and have branched out into film-making, offering students fun, diverse opportunities to develop.  

Lone Bufallo charity laosThe project was co-founded by Mark Steadman, a former Wanderlust Guide of the Year, who lives in Phonsavan and leads the occasional Limited Edition Laos tour for us.

Selective Asia proudly sponsor Class 3C and have been avidly following each intakes development (like a proud parent!) since 2015. Students, who are in their early teens. We don’t get to personally visit the project as often as we’d like, however many of our clients who travel to Phonsavan stop by the English Development Centre and witness first-hand the extraordinary work taking place there. 

Watch a short video introducing the project presented by Mark, Introducing Lone Buffalo and filmed in part by students, and be sure to check out their website at You can also view their excellent 2021 impact report

MAG (Mine Advisory Group International) - work in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Sri Lanka & world-wide

MAGEvery day, around 12 people are killed or suffer horrific injuries because of landmines and other explosive weapons. These weapons are indiscriminate killers during and after conflict. They don't obey ceasefire agreements. MAG's vision is a safe and secure future for men, women and children affected by armed violence and conflict. Working in over 20 countries, many in the Asian region, since 1989; MAG are saving lives and building safe futures by reclaiming land contaminated with the remnants of conflict and finding ways to reduce the daily risk of death or injury for civilians.

In early 2022, Selective Asia were proud to partner with MAG to help launch their Unlock the Land appeal, raising the funds required to allow their teams in Vangkhom, Laos to clear thousands of unexploded bombs which have laid buried since the 1960s, each one capable of taking a life.

Ahead of the launch spoke Nick Rebecca Letven, Country Director, MAG Laos. They spoke about the challenges on the ground, the current appeal’s focus, the impact that the pandemic has had on their work, and how tourism can help. You can watch their conversation here.

Our Planet, Community & Conservation Fund

World Land TrustIn 2023 we launched our Planet, Community & Conservation Fund, in partnership with the World Land Trust, a registered UK charity (1001291) involved in funding conservation projects across the world.

For every person travelling with Selective Asia, we make a contribution to the World Land Trust’s Securing the D’ering-Dibru Saikhowa Elephant Corridor project. The fund not only benefits the environment through rewilding and the planting of trees, it also creates employment opportunities in a remote rural community and help support a local population of circa 500 elephants. Learn more about the fund and this project here

Turquoise Mountain

turquoise mountain logoTurquoise Mountain was established in 2006 with the with a crystal clear mission and purpose - to support artisans.
Their work in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Levant and Saudi Arabia. reviving historic areas and traditional crafts, supporting minority and oppressed groups, providing employment, skills and a renewed sense of pride.

Since 2006, Turquoise Mountain has restored over 150 historic buildings, employed and trained thousands of artisans and builders, built over 50 small businesses, and supported and generated over $17 million in sales of traditional crafts to international markets.. Learn more about this project here