Thursday, November 13, 2008

Inspirational Travel Companies

Life has been incredibly hectic over the past few days, so I haven't had much time to digest our day at the WTM at ExCel on Tuesday.

It was a hugely over-whelming experience, with so many people both visiting and exhibiting. From my point of view, the event didn't quite live up to what I had hoped - the operators there were, for the most part, much larger and mainstream than we are looking to recruit for tourdust.

However, we did meet a couple of individuals who were truly inspiring in their attitudes to responsible travel and local communties which I would like to share with you;

The Storms River Adventure Company offer high wire adventures, trekking and exploring activities in the Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa.  At the heart of the company's ethos is their attitude and commitment to their local community; food programmes with local schools and sports initiatives with local children are just a couple of the ways that they are trying to improve the lives of local children affected by HIV.

In India, The Blue Yonder is another tour operator dedicated to responsible tourism. This company is dedicated to support their local community whilst offering travellers an authentic tour of their country. Initiatives include raising of funds and awareness for their local Nila foundation and working with street children in Delhi.

Amongst the commercialism of the WTM (and London itself), it was so refreshing to speak to such dedicated and inspirational companies who were putting local projects and people at the heart of their business. I think we could all learn a thing or too from them about our responsibility to the environment and our local communities. Even small gestures can make a difference, like making an effort to shop for fruit and veg at your local market or buying your Christmas cards from a charity shop instead of a supermarket.........


Sandwagon said...

Hi Trailbeaters

Great to hear that you found some responsible operators amongst the big boys. Hopefully next year and in years to come there'll be more and more of them doing business at WTM.

Tourdust sounds interesting. Can I ask? Or is it top secret at the mo?

I'm taking a responsible tourism stance at Sandwagon in my attempts to drive the travel bandwagon into a ditch!

Ben Colclough said...

Hi Sandwagon,
It definitely is aimed more at the big end of the market. I sent an email to you directly with some info on Tourdust. Let me know if you didn't get it.