Experience with meaning! This is what we all want out of life today. The travel market is no exception to the rule. Tourism now has to serve a purpose and be responsible, as much on the other side of the world as right next door. And it’s not just a secondary effect: it’s a major trend. Put your walking shoes on, we’ll be your guide.
See the REAL world...
Come and see the world for real. That’s the promise made by I Like Local, one of ten Dutch start-ups recently selected by the online booking giant, Booking.com, to be part of its Booking Booster programme which seeks to promote sustainable tourism. Like many others, the young Dutch company focuses on local experience and travel off the beaten track.
Working leather in Jakarta or staying in a Berber village...
Not On Map, Autenteo, Impulse Travel…a growing number are offering a different kind of tourism, and they all have a common desire to plunge us into day-to-day experiences which are often quite different to our own. Like a trip to Columbia which combines discovery of a coffee plantation with the demining teams, responsible for clearing a previous war zone.
Tourism benefits everyone.
Getting immersed in local life clearly helps gain a better understanding of others and of the world. Not only that, it’s also a great support to the local economy. Jobs, additional income, shops, but also education, environmental protection, and culture…ethical tourism benefits all the parties who participate, and not just a handful of individuals.
It's happening near you!
No need to cross to the other side of the world to relax and have some wonderful encounters. For a little over a year, the start-up, Oh La Vache! (Holy Cow!) has been offering farm immersion stays. From cheese making in the Pyrenees, working with oysters in Arcachon, to saffron in Provence, there are almost 90 formulas on offer. And it works! The project has proved to be a success. Rural tourists rediscover the joy of working on the land and farmers gain an additional source of income which is not insignificant (up to 1/3 for some). Above all, it demonstrates the value of their activity to a public that is not always well-informed. Last Christmas, the start-up even launched gift boxes at Biocoop and Nature et Découverte.
Responsible tourism, a sustainable sector?
A lot of people believe in it. As much from the travel agents’ point of view (Booster from Booking.com has 2 million euros of funding) as from the travellers’ point of view, because according to a survey carried out in January 2018 by flight and travel comparison site, Easyvoyage, 66% of those interviewed consider responsible tourism to be indispensable.
So, are you ready to set off on new adventures?
Photo credit : Not On the Map
Photo credit : Autenteo