Updated: Jan 5, 2020
Traveling can be so much more than taking a trip to some far off place to see what it has to offer. It can be a way for people to support those of this far off place in a way that helps to improve their community, culture, and economy. This is a trend that is on the rise within the travel industry known as social impact travel.
What Is Social Impact Travel?
Social impact travel is another term for the idea of sustainable travel. It is a way for travelers to provide a serious positive impact on the people and the communities that they visit around the world. Many people think of ecotourism when they hear this term. The difference is that social impact travel has a real positive impact on the environment, economy, and culture of the places that they visit.
How Does It Work?
Different travel companies are starting to build trips and tours that are based on social impact travel. They have professionals that are linked into the communities of the places in which they are planning trips and tours too. They have generated relationships with these locals so that they are able to plan and create an amazing trip for travelers that are going to benefit these areas.
It is all about the small decisions that travel companies and travelers make. It is about deciding to eat at a local restaurant that is run by a family who has been in business for 30 years. It is about staying at a small hotel run by a mother and daughter. It is about planning excursions that are lead by local indigenous people. Shopping is another big way to have an impact on these areas. Shopping local artisan shops where they=ir work and professions can be supported.
Another way that tour and trip companies are making a difference is through volunteering excursions. They are creating trips for travelers that allows them to work on farms in Costa Rica or by giving them access to help build a school in Africa. It can be difficult for a normal traveler to find these volunteering opportunities on their own and the tourism companies are tapping into that need.
Social impact tourism is supporting the fact that travel can be one of the top 2 export incomes in many underdeveloped countries around the world, according to the World Tourism Organization. They understand the positive effect that travelers can have on these types of areas and that they can help to make this world a better place, one trip at a time.
There is also Voluntourism travel, and here's a great blog post that goes into more detail. NO matter how you choose to travel, we can help.