For most of us, travel and tourism is a way for us to get away from our daily lives and unwind or relax. We take vacations to explore new cultures, meet new people, and discover a part of yourself you never knew was missing. However, our zest for adventure and curiosity for far off places allow local communities to preserve their cultures and to educate people about their heritage, their country, and their way of life. There are many different ways that your travels give back to the local community. Here are a few ways you can give back.
A few weeks ago, we encouraged our travels to visit a local cafe to get an authentic feel for a city. Supporting local artisans and patronizing local shops puts funds back into the community so that they can preserve their culture and tradition. While it’s fine to indulge in your usual Starbucks coffee while abroad, you can learn so much by going local and learning how coffee is prepared thousands of miles away from your home. You’ll also garner some great bragging rights by obtaining something unique to the location as well.
Educate Yourself on Sustainable Tourism Initiatives
Contiki is a founding partner of The Treadright Foundation, a not-for-profit organization established by The Travel Corporation to encourage sustainable tourism, both within our own family of brands as well as the places we visit. For Contiki, we’re huge advocates of ocean conservation and partnered with Celine Cousteau to spread the message that our oceans are part of our livelihood.
Volunteer Your Time
It’s as easy as volunteering in your own backyard. Chances are, there are plenty of places in your neck of the woods that many people come visit – and by preserving these places for future generations, you’re giving back to your own community and to the world as a whole.
Every year, Contiki volunteers with Tourism Cares at the Grand Canyon, helping to restore natural vegetation and remove invasive species. This will give future visitors of the Grand Canyon the opportunity to experience this natural wonder.
Once you donate your time locally, you can find ways to donate your time to help people all around the world!
Share Your Story
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways to help give back during your travels. The power of referrals to particular restaurants, vendors, and other opportunities are a great way to support the local businesses and to increase awareness for the areas that you travel to. Share your stories and contacts with your friends and family and continue the cycle of giving back! Write a glowing review, save a business card, and pay it forward.