Why we are proud to support Responsible Tourism
Often just the word ‘tourism’ can conjure up images of overdeveloped coastlines and crowded streets filled with cheap souvenirs. For many, the archetypal ‘tourist’ is one who only wants to enjoy himself and has little regard for the impact he has on the places he visits. However, tourism is a hugely significant industry across the world and accounts for a large slice of vital income to many countries, not just those in the developing world. Tourism is responsible for 30% of the world’s trade of services and 6% of overall exports of goods and services.
With such sizable numbers, it’s no wonder that this kind of travel has had an adverse effect in some areas. It doesn’t always have to be the case however. Responsible tourism can have a considerably positive impact on the local community. Well managed, small group or independent travel and tourism can bring significant gains to both those involved directly in the provision of services and to the wider community. Often this kind of tourism can help improve the local economy and can give economic advantages to those who might previously have been shut out of the labour market.
I Love Adventures are proud to work with and represent in the UAE & GCC, our principal partners; Exodus Travels, G-Adventures and Intrepid. Responsible tourism, lowering the carbon foot print and supporting local communities is an integral part of the planning for every trip.
All our partner companies are working on several key projects with local communities that highlight how tourism can be beneficial.
Exodus – Responsible Travel
Exodus place great emphasis on three simple, guiding principles when travelling.
- Realise that every destination is someone else’s home
- Leave places as you would like to find them
- Ensure that communities benefit from our visit
Exodus places a big emphasis on these values and with these in mind, they recognise their obligation to travelling in a responsible and sustainable fashion. They are committed to the well-being of the communities that play hosts to travellers and the natural environment that people are there to experience.
Since Exodus have been organising treks and tours to the Himalayas for more than 40 years, it’s natural that this area is a huge focus for supporting local communities. One project supports a school in Nalbung Village in Nepal. The company have been supporting the village and the school since 1998. The school now has more than 100 pupils and Exodus sponsor a teacher’s full-time salary to ensure all pupils are able to learn effectively. A recent donation of 49 smokeless stoves enabled every house in the village to have their own stove.
G Adventures – Planeterra
Established in 2003, by global adventure travel company G Adventures’ founder, Bruce Poon Tip, Planeterra Foundation is a non-profit organization that has contributed millions of dollars towards projects in areas of social enterprise, healthcare, conservation, and emergency response.
Projects focus on several different areas from bringing women into the job market to social conservation. One particular project, City Walk, helps to provide support for homeless children in Delhi, India. Planeterra works in partnership with Salaam Baalak Trust to provide safe housing, counselling, education and support to over 5000 children in the city as well as managing five safe homes in various locations across Delhi.
Intrepid Travel – The Intrepid Foundation
Established in 2002 by the founders of Intrepid Travel, The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that allows travellers to give back to the communities they visit.
The Foundation has raised over AUD$5.6 million for more than 100 non-government organisations (NGOs) around the world, which support initiatives in health care, education, gender equality, human rights, child welfare, sustainable development, environmental conservation and wildlife protection.
A notable project The Intrepid Foundation are supporting is the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. This project (KPAP) provides Kilimanjaro porters with support, advocacy and education, and works with the travel industry to ensure good climbing practices and conditions for the hardworking porters. Porters are the heart and soul of any trek at Mount Kilimanjaro. However, some porters are severely underpaid and suffer poor conditions such as inadequate clothing and equipment, and are over-loaded and underfed – some porters have died on Kilimanjaro, due to hypothermia.
KPAP’s critical purpose is to improve the working conditions of the porters climbing Kilimanjaro by offering free classes for the benefit of the porters in English, first aid, HIV/AIDS awareness, money management, and porters rights, as well as educating the public on the porter working conditions and providing guidelines for proper porter treatment.
I Love Adventures are proud to represent companies who work on these life changing projects within communities, while also providing amazing travel experiences for customers. Being a tourist shouldn’t mean having a negative impact on the local community. Tourism done in the right way can have huge advantages to all levels of society and means not only can you enjoy your adventure, you know you are helping those who need it most.
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