Want to make your travel plans count for others in 2020? There’s an inspirational range of travel startups who are helping locals safeguard their rural cultures and communities and those in need such as migrants and refugees regain their dignity and rebuild their lives. Here’s just a few to support.
Sasane Sisterhood Trekking and Travel, Nepal
Sasane trains female human-trafficking survivors to become trekking guides in the Himalayas. Do a week’s trek of the Ghorepani Poonhill mountains or tour the pilgrimage sites near Nagarkot knowing you are helping to create alternative incomes for local communities. By improving infrastructure and driving tourism to vulnerable areas, Sasane wants to help reduce and eventually eliminate gender-based violence, child marriage and trafficking. More at sasanesisterhoodtrek.com.
This fantastic new enterprise helps refugee families in Malaysia cook and sell specialist delicacies. So you get to eat delicious sweets from Syria, humous from Palestine, Afghani Dumplings or Iraqi falafel made with love and at the same time offer the chefs a chance to rebuild their lives, regain their dignity, and provide for their family. More at http://pichaeats.com.
I like local, Asia & Africa
Running in 19 countries across Asia & Africa, this social enterprise offers local experiences for travellers beyond standard tourist attractions so that local guides and hosts can have a sustainable income. Help to produce and sell food in a vibrant market with a women’s cooperative in Rwanda, cycle to see local artisans on the island of Java, or stay in a family homestay with an indigenous community. More at i-likelocal.com.
NotOnMap helps rural villages across the Indian continent to become new tourism destinations. Stay on organic farms in Jaipur, in 200 year old houses near the Arabian Sea in Kerala or in restored thatched huts near the beaches of Karnataka and you’ll be helping to create a sustainable local economy, safeguard its cultures and reduce rural migration. More at notonmap.com.
Wanting to move away from the stereotypical image of Africa and simply a safari country, this innovative new company brings together artists, chefs, musicians and creative entrepreneurs to host fascinating activities and tours focused on cooking, the arts and music in African cities, from local cooking in Cape Town to a tour of tailor-made fashion in the markets of Accra to a public art and graffiti walk around Johannesburg. More at tastemakersafrica.com.