Celebrating World Tourism Day
World Tourism Day’s theme for 2022 shines the spotlight on the rethinking what tourism means – how we can return the focus back onto the future and the tourism we want to build?
It is the responsibility for those of us who work in the travel industry to facilitate meaningful moments and connections for travellers in the destination they are visiting. We need to ensure that we are creating purposeful interactions that benefit the local communities, and are respectful of the cultural norms, traditions and beliefs that are deeply rooted in the destinations that we are visiting. We need to continually educate ourselves on the local needs and then create meaningful connections, while also imparting this wisdom onto our guests that travel with us. And we need to make sure that we are doing all of this in a sustainable way.
How do we want to shape the future of travel? How do we create sustainable tourism? We need to listen to the local communities that we visit and support them in their quest in creating new tourism models that work best for them.
We want to ensure that our trips offer a variety of unique experience that give back to the women in the local communities that we visit. We want to make sure that our guest’s tourism dollars make a difference in supporting local women’s empowerment initiatives such as visiting coops, charitable organizations and local stays. We will continue along this path of creating amazing connections from woman to woman around the world.
We are building the future of tourism together. Here are a few highlights of the local communities that we support:
Eco-Guesthouse Kasbah Toubkal
Stay here on our Mosaic of Wild Morocco tour. An eco-guesthouse that has been sustainably designed. The local community was involved throughout the process and 5% of each booking is contributed to Education for All, an organization founded by the owner of the Kasbah that supports rural Moroccan girls and their continuing education.
Lunch at Beit Khairat Souf
You can visit here on our Journey into Jordan trip. Lunch at Beit Khayrat Souf, which is a unique women-owned and managed café in Souf that was established as a creative solution to women’s unemployment. The project continues to inspire a sturdy community of women leaders to network and propel the café’s success. Founded by Sumia, a Jordanian woman, this empowerment initiative was funded with a personal loan.
Massai Women of Isiotok
You can visit them on our Tanzania Trek and Safari trip. We will visit a group of Maasai women from the village of Isiotok and roll up our sleeves to milk cows, collect firewood and fetch water, shadowing their daily routine. We will also learn how to make our own fine beaded jewelry as their expert hands demonstrate the secrets. Their resilience and spirit is indefatigable. The women build the ‘bomas’ (houses) using a genius cement mixture of vacated termite hill soil, cow dung and water. The designs are simplistic, practical and testament to skills learned from the generations before.
Weavers of the Huayllarocha Community
You can visit them on the Salkantay Lodge to Lodge Trek to Machu Picchu trip. In the Huayllarocha community, weaving is a skill that is an integral part of life for the women in this village. Meet the women who carry on the legacy of weaving on backstrap looms using locally-sourced vegetable dyes. Watch a weaving demo and have a lesson on the textile patterns that run deeper than the ink and communicate the cultural tradition and identity of the community. The intricate geometric and floral patterns designed with alpaca and sheep wool are inspiring. Young girls are taught to spin and weave as soon as they are old enough to care for the animals in the fields.
You can visit the studio on our Elephants, Treks and Temples tour in Northern Thailand. Founded in 1986, this Northern Thailand community of women weavers, embroiderers, designers and support staff have joined forces to establish “Weavers for the Environment” (WFE). The women unite artisan craft makers from various ethnic groups to create high quality, environmentally-friendly and sustainable products. It’s evident that they encourage pride in traditional techniques and empower women financially within their villages. A tie-dye workshop at Studio Naenna will begin with a quick introduction to natural dyes and Thai ikat (Mudmee) technique. Patricia Cheesman, a renowned textile expert, or her daughter, Lamorna Cheesman, will guide us as we tie and dye pieces in indigo vats.
Inka Lodge in Huacahuasi
Stay here on The Sacred Ride, Peru. This successful rural tourism project operates in conjunction with local families. The Inka Lodges project has provided the Bernardino Mayo family the opportunity to create their own hospitality business. They have received extensive training in hosting, cooking and cultural presentations. Often, distant Andean village families are separated as one of the parents has to leave to find work. The Inka Lodges project offers them the opportunity to stay tightly knit together, prosper at home, preserve and share their culture in a rewarding way.
As we continue to research and launch new trips around the world, we will ensure that we curate meaningful connections with local communities that focus on women empowerment, and create a system that supports sustainable tourism. Happy World Tourism Day Wild Women!
For more information about our trips, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-888-993-1222.
(Main Feature Image is of Mama Anna at Mama Anna’s Women’s Cooperative in Agape, Mount Meru on our Tanzania Trek and Safari tour.)