The tourism industry unites around community-led travel

The tourism industry unites around community-led travel

In Medellin, Colombia, thirty travel professionals, including eight global tour operators, have come together for the Tourism Cares Meaningful Travel Summit, a program that creates connections between the greater travel industry and local community-led sustainable tourism opportunities.

“We have gathered in Medellin to experience its local community, see how community tourism has become a focus, and learn by example how tourism can be a conduit to peace, and view the local supply chain in action.  It will, no doubt, leave us inspired to think about how we can operationalize aspects of meaningful travel into our lives and our work,” said Tourism Cares CEO, Greg Takehara.

The Meaningful Travel Summit stands out as an innovative travel event unlike any other, with the primary goal of creating long-term economic impact for tourism communities by curating deep and immersive connections. Through meaningful conversations and experiential, community visits, the Summit will explore how tourism creates dignified livelihoods and provides alternative jobs and economic investment to curtail the negative social and environmental impacts in today’s world.

“We are proud that Colombia is hosting the Meaningful Travel Summit organized by Tourism Cares in conjunction with ProColombia and Impulse Travel. This event is the perfect opportunity for us to share the progress we have made as a country in terms of sustainability,” said Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia. “We have moved towards a more responsible and high-quality tourism sector that promotes the development of communities and protects the cultural heritage and the environment”

To build more connections to community leaders, Tourism Cares has partnered with Impulse Travel, a Colombia-based tour operator that creates, operates, and promotes tours that let travelers experience the country from a local and authentic perspective.

“This program has a huge impact on the way Colombia is doing community-based tourism. Together with industry leaders and institutions, we are creating a framework in which local communities can participate actively in tourism,” said Rodrigo Atuesta, CEO, Impulse Travel. “Through the inclusion of grass-roots social enterprises in the value chain, tourism will have a ripple effect locally; travelers have authentic and immersive experiences and social enterprises are strengthened and empowered.” 

This is an excerpt from an article by Tatiana Rokou, originally published by TravelDailyNews.

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