Which Destinations Are Most in Need of Tourism Right Now?
Sian Pages – Travel Planner
We’re still holding our breaths, waiting to see what international travel will look like, further into 2021 and if you’re anything like me, the thought of travelling abroad again is dominating your thoughts on an hourly basis.
So why not really think about where we travel to and how we can make a positive impact, both for ourselves and for those destinations that are relying on tourism to survive.
There are many ways we can achieve a zen like feeling of doing good. We can focus on those companies that show in a transparent way, how the funds you pay for you holiday is distributed into the local economy…
We can also work with companies that work towards conservation, community, equality and diversity, so that when we’re filling our souls with joy on holiday, we know we’re also helping promote worthy causes.
There’s much to consider.
In 2019, the travel and tourism sector supported one in 10 jobs (330 million), making a 10.3 per-cent contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
Globally, the travel industry suffered a loss of £3.3 trillion in 2020 – an almost unfathomable amount. Travel is a vital way of distributing wealth to those most in need of income – and now more than ever.
Here are just a few of the ‘long haul’ destinations that not only rely on tourism, but who continue to ‘do the right thing’.
Sadly, not all safari trips are created equal. There are many that promote ‘conservation’ and ethical treatment of the animals, but do not practice this at all. Knowing what to look for is essential. It gives us an opportunity to work with the companies that are proven to be committed to conservation and anti-poaching programmes.
Weighing up where your money’s heading is a powerful way to help heal and preserve nature — especially for a continent that has lost precious conservation funding from lack of tourism. Focusing on companies that fund investment in wildlife and communities in a way that improves the health of ecosystems, which is of paramount importance for the wellbeing of the whole planet.
Investing in sustainability and prioritising staff health and well-being during Covid taken an unfortunate backseat for many companies. Largely due to lack of funds and the need to use what they have on incorporating changes to comply with new Covid rules.
But for Cayuga Collection in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama, they’ve shown how this can should be done, no matter the situation and have impressed us all with their unrivalled effort to conservation and support for their immediate community.
Indian Ocean and Caribbean
The islands in the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean are still crying out for visitors, and many have introduced visas for digital nomads to spend extended spells with them. When visiting these paradise islands, focus on those that consider their wider socio-economic impact. Being a conscious eco-traveller doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice luxury though. This has never been truer, than with companies like Soneva.
Founded in Maldives in 1995 by Sonu Shivdasani and his wife Eva Malmström Shivdasani, they focus heavily on ‘barefoot luxury’ and sustainability and are proudly 100% carbon neutral.
They have many initiatives that highlight their philosophies, such as: growing their own organic produce, producing their own drinking water, funding 500+ clean drinking water projects all over the world, recycling 90% of their hard waste and in partnership with the Patt foundation, they have planted over 500,000 trees in Thailand to restore habitats.
In India, focusing on conservation and pioneering tourism, let’s look at Suján. This company has been leading the way for conservation tourism in India for decades. As well as wildlife, it invested in one of the most deserving initiatives of all when it comes to socio-economic impact – education.
Across three districts of Rajasthan, Suján supported 13 schools. With more than three-quarters of staff from this state, it’s a vital employer too for these rural communities. During this past year, its sister camp Suján Sher Bagh has continued to fund the Village Wildlife Volunteers at a time when defence for anti-poaching around the greater Ranthambhore area has been critical.
Despite all its camps remaining closed since March 2020, not a single member of the Suján team has been made redundant – it’s businesses such as this that surely deserve our support and future bookings.
Want More Information?
If you’d like to discuss your future travel plans you have in mind, get in contact with our in-house travel consultant, Sian Pages, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sian will be more than happy to spend time talking you through your options; remembering her service is delivered at no cost to clients and professional connections of Longhurst.