This week we’re celebrating International Women’s Day, a global day bringing light to the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Although these achievements are celebrated every day in many places around the world, this special day marks a global celebration - an official holiday in many countries including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Eritrea, Uganda and Zambia.
In this article I wanted to particularly articulate how sustainable tourism has helped to enhance women’s empowerment around the world. Especially given that 2017 has been designated the Year of Sustainable Travel by the United Nations - an opportunity to raise awareness on the contribution of sustainable tourism development amongst communities.
One organisation bringing sustainable tourism to the mainstream market is Visit.org, offering immersive and impactful travel experiences hosted by social initiatives to raise awareness and increase revenue for their causes.
The $7 trillion dollar travel industry is the world’s top economic driver yet only 5% of earnings are left in local hands. The only entities that can guarantee that revenue from tourism activities stays in local hands are the local social ventures that offer access to their unique cultures, and Visit.org provides a platform for them to do so.
Visit.org is the world’s largest platform for community-driven travel experiences. The platform offers over 500 unique experiences in 64 countries, with 100% of hosts’ revenue invested back into the local community.
Many of the experiences provided also contribute to the social and economic empowerment of women. There is the Artisans Angkor tour in Cambodia where travellers can create their own silk scarves. There is the opportunity to learn local textiles and pottery from indigenous Mapuche artisans and craftsmen in Chile at Fundación Chol Chol. Guests can empower vulnerable women through a visit to Fundación Soy Social in Colombia or try weaving in Peru at CTTC.
“We have an extensive vetting process with criteria requirements that ensure organizations are benefiting local communities in a meaningful, lasting way. Our set of values promotes cross-cultural understanding and respecting local customs.” - Michael Alter, Co-Founder and CEO of Visit.org.
The Visit.org online platform allows users to browse through experiences in the countries they are travelling to and while gaining long lasting memories, are also contributing to social and economic empowerment of women in marginalised communities.
These are the kinds of experiences that allow you to make an impact to the lives of others through travel, and it’s these kind of sustainable tourism experiences that will contribute to the overarching Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) that we strive to achieve year on year.
To find out more about Visit.org or to find an impactful travel experience for your next trip abroad visit their website.