I always strive to get a glimpse of the local culture when I travel, whether I am on a longer international trip or a short business trip. The longer you spend in a place, the more opportunity you have to hear, see, and feel. You start to understand the joys, the struggles, and priorities of the local community.
When you don’t have several weeks, it is difficult to engage with and learn about the community. That is where community engaged travel businesses can greatly impact your experience.
Community Engaged Travel
Choose travel companies that contribute to the community.
Contributing to the local community can happen in several ways. Do they employ locals, and do they treat them well? Do they work with other local businesses? Are they involved in solving local problems and providing opportunities?
Bodhi helps YOU contribute to the community through its Travelers Philanthropy Program, donating 2% of every Bodhi Sessions experience to organizations that are helping improve the well-being of Bahia Ballena. If you enjoy a place, it makes sense to help maintain and support it.
We got to see the results of one of the local projects run by Geoporter, using geospatial technologies to determine the best place to install public trash and recycling bins.
Choose travel companies that help guests learn about and engage with the community.
I also choose accommodations that are smaller, specifically avoiding all-inclusive resorts, so that I don’t feel torn between going out to experience the town and “getting my money’s worth.”
Choose travel companies that recognize their role in the larger global community.
Bodhi demonstrates corporate, social, and environmental responsibility through their Ocean Guardian Journey, which is the larger umbrella for all of the things that they are doing in contribution to a much larger movement. It is a personal journey for their business and it is based on learning, growing, and improving.
We don’t need perfection or 100% solutions. Read their very honest take on sustainability here. This approach resonates with me, and I think it is an innovative, creative model that other businesses can learn from.