Female-led boutique agency GOOD Travel is increasingly filling gaps in the tourism industry with eco-friendly and women empowerment thematic trips.
Founded in 2013, the New Zealand-based venture is offering a new touristic vision by engaging travelers and local partners in words and actions for positive social impact.
In an effort to avoid the white savior complex and inappropriate power dynamics in the communities they visit, for 8 years the enterprise has deliberately designed conscious travel experiences in almost every continent.
Co-founder Eliza Raymond explained how the startup began as a passion project -coming from the volunteer tourism sector herself – and now it has grown into a worldwide community seeking to learn about people and cultures around the world with high values of respect and integrity.
“The bigger question we face is: Should people ever travel at all? That is a bigger question and we are trying to solve it. Biodiversity experts interviewed have this argument that once people experience a place and see real wildlife they will be motivated in a completely different way to adjust their behaviors at home and it can also serve as an incentive for destinations to protect their biodiversity,” Raymond said.
The agency, which offers destination trips and carefully design group trips on request, has partnered with local operators in countries like Peru, Cambodia and Tanzania pursuing sustainable practices such as: energy and water conservation, waste reduction and recycling and environmental protection education campaigns, among others.
According to the professor of entrepreneurship, innovation and social change at the University of Peace, “traveling is a great opportunity for people to think about issues that they don’t think about in their daily basis”.
It is estimated the tourism industry contributes $7.2 trillion USD annually to economies or approximately 10% the global GDP.
The venture is focused on giving back with a percentage of the overall trip’s cost being sent as donations to the local projects being visited each time.
“We do carbon offsets for all our guides and we encourage our travelers to do carbon offset on their part,” Raymond said.
With a #wastefreeflyer campaign on the works to invite passengers to use reusable cups and water bottles and an upcoming family trip for Mothers and Daughters to support women empowerment projects in Peru this summer, the agency aims to expand its outreach in the following months and continue measuring its social impact in an annual report.
You can learn more about GOOD Travel click here: http://good-travel.org/
Photos Credits: Baron Wright, GOOD Travel