That’s How Socially Responsible Tourism Works!
Years ago I received the first press release from The Institute for Tourism and Development (Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung) here I am finally ready to share about it. Have you heard about it before?
I am going to let the Institute introduce itself and the TO DO Award “With the international TO DO contest, we have since 1995 awarded initiatives that enable local people’s participation and involvement in decision-making on tourism projects, products, and services. When local people are able to plan and market tourism by themselves, this strengthens local economies and creates new sources of income. In this way, socially responsible tourism boosts people’s self-efficacy and appreciates their cultural identity. Potential participants in the TO DO contest are invited to apply with their tourism projects, products, and services. An expert jury preselects projects which are then checked by experts on location. The award ceremony takes place at ITB in Berlin, the winning projects are widely publicized”.
This year’s awards of the international TO DO contest go to projects in Peru and India. The two award winners particularly stand out in their commitment to socially responsible forms of tourism with ecological, economic and socially sustainable effects.
Award Winner “Awamaki“ (Peru) founded by Kennedy Leavens
In the language of the indigenous Andean population “Awamaki“ means “handmade”. In 2009 the organization “Awamaki“ was founded, marketing handmade textiles and handicraft. Its objective is to support indigenous women as independent entrepreneurs, to market their textiles made from alpaca and sheep wool in a fair manner, and to provide small businesses with access to the global market. Furthermore, “Awamaki” promotes sustainable tourism projects in the communities. The programme is multifaceted; apart from guided trekking tours, various courses are offered. Tourism is meant to generate an additional income and to counter poverty and emigration. “Awamaki“ has come to be regarded as a model for other organizations and regions, showing how tourism can be implemented in a socially responsible manner.
Award Winner “Open Eyes“ (India) founded by Anna Alaman
In 2011, the tourism initiative “Open Eyes“ was founded in Delhi. It is a social enterprise meant to help open the eyes for new perspectives in the country. With “Women in Tourism“, for example, new jobs around tourism are created and the women, including blind women, are being prepared for their new activities. The organization takes care of the financial and organizational matters. The touristic products and services are concentrated in New Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra, encompassing wellness, round trips within India and guided city tours, e.g. to the markets and neighborhoods of Delhi. Furthermore, Open Eyes supports a café in Agra run by women who became victims of acid attacks. The projects already show effects: The women’s income has increased considerably – by 25 percent and more.
Are you interested to know more?
Ask #STouW by Sara Vitali about:
#socialmedia strategies for tourism sector & linked sustainable, responsible, green or eco businesses;
#sustainabledevelopment through tourism.