Posts Tagged ‘responsible travel’

Travel in the Buy-One-Give-One Mode: Elevate Destinations

Maasai Mara group standing in village settingI’ve blogged before, and likely will again, about companies like Warby Parker glasses and TOMS shoes, who have implemented the business model of buy-one-give-one. They are set up so that for each item a customer purchases, a similar item is donated to a community in need. It’s a good model, and is being more readily adopted by more companies, and provides the opportunity for customer loyalty to extend to cause-based issues, education about a chosen problem that can be addressed, and chance for retail to do well while doing good. Bottom line for a business needn’t be exclusively profit.

Since my normal stomping grounds include the travel industry, I am pleased to see footholds being made with this model in this arena as well. Elevate Destinations has launched a new Buy a Trip, Give a Trip model, where every client trip booked through this philanthropic travel company triggers a parallel experience for a child in a developing world destination. Working with local, on-the-ground NGOs, Elevate sponsors outings for youth groups that would otherwise not have access to the sites (and sights) that draw tourists from around the world. Children of Cape Town communities getting to visit Robben Island, for example, or Peruvian youth finally seeing Machu Picchu…it expands the experiences and understanding of marginalized young people.

For a while now, we’ve been aware of responsible travel practices and tools, like carbon offsets, that counter some of the impact we have on the planet as we engage with it…now, with this new Buy One Give One (#B1G1) model for travel…it could be seen as cultural offset, where your visit to a new community or destination leaves something more than footprints.

How Do We Ensure Sustainable Tourism? TreadRight

1430843_75984981The TreadRight Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to guaranteeing the health of the environment and that the communities we visit remain vibrant for generations to come. More than $2.5 million has been donated to sustainable tourism projects and partners like WWFConservation International, and The National Trust. The projects they support must meet key criteria:

*Conservation and protection of the environment, wildlife, and cultural heritage sites

*Relief of poverty and the improvement of the conditions of life in socially and economically disadvantaged communities through community involvement in sustainable tourism initiatives

*Promotion of sustainable tourism as a means to achieve economic growth and regeneration

There are four themes in which projects are pursued: Biodiversity, Community, Leadership, and Water. This organization, a joint venture with The Travel Corporation brands, sets the bar high for other travel and hospitality companies to step up their game. A recent new venture is support of the National Geographic Travel World Legacy Awards.

The foundation website even includes a great graphic and 25 tips for traveling responsibly–food for thought from some folks doing it right.