Welcome to our event – TM and West Africa discovery collaborating to highlight RT week in London. Travel matters is a travel agency which is interested in responsible tourism and passionate about the RT movement. On meeting Thomas in December we decided to collaborate and organise this event – to make more people aware of the global r t movement and get some questions answered about responsible volunteeering. So what does TM do already to promote responsible travel?
We set up MTM – an awareness campaign to encourage people to think about their travel and behaviour overseas. And we do this in several ways.
We have partnered with over 12 local schools and donate funds when parents book their travel arrangements with us. This is us with P Morgan having donated towards a cricket tour in the west indies.
We have visited several primary schools collaborating with geography teachers to teach the kids about responsible travel.
Not only do we plant trees we encourage clients to donate £4.50 and match the funds. This is our charity partner Trees for Cities and me.
It was at the Ethical fayre in December in Clapham that I had the pleasure of meeting Thomas. Should have had a green bus but yurt instead!
By donating, being members and putting their literature in clients ticket wallets.
As well as working alongside various AITO specialist tour operators, we encourage clients to look at other ways of engaging with local communities they visit, hence the reason of the talk – to answer some burning questions that we have had also.
So that’s us! Without further a do – can I welcome Thomas Armitt, my co host to tell you about himself, and the reason we are all here.
Responsible tourism week slideshow
Let’s make this global! Twitter Facebook #RTWeek2012 ‘Like’ and share with#ResponsibleTourism friends We are streaming too Invite your friends to join us on Justin.tv www.justin.tv/wadiscovery
• It’s not often that we think about the impact our holidays have upon the places we choose to visit.• We make it our business to not only organise holidays which minimise on negative impact whilst maximising on quality, but to educate our clients as to how they can continue to make a difference in their future adventures.
How does Travel Matters do that?• We support local schools with fundraising
Visit primary schools giving talks on responsible travel
We collaborate with specialist companies who promote responsible travel
Proud supporter of WTM world responsible tourism day
Campaigning for the implementation and development of responsible tourism in West Africa Raising awareness towards West Africa as an AMAZING travel destinationPromoting west African based tourism projects that are activelyworking to implement responsible tourism principles within their activities
Voluntourism “…the integrated combination of voluntary service to a destination with the traditional elements of travel and tourism - arts, culture,geography, history, and recreation - while in the destination.” (voluntourism.org)
Why the theme?• Volunteering usually has positive connotations• But, that is not always the case• Importance of responsible tourism practices“Making destinations better places to live in, and better places to visit” (Cape Town Declaration, 2002)• We’d like to open a debate on ‘voluntourism’
West Africa Discovery• We only list 4 Volunteering projects – They are transparent about where the money goes • 80% of the money spent stays in the destination – They have minimum stay • No less than 4 weeks – They concentrate on meaningful projects • Wealth through trade, not aid • Early Childhood Programme – They thoroughly screen the potential volunteers – They prepare the hosts and volunteers
Why only 4?• Too many negative stories• Not enough regulation• No meaningful certification• Not enough preparation• The volunteers motivations
But…“The mind is like a parachute…… it needs to be open to work” Frank Zappa
The next hour…• Speakers Ben Keene Chris Hill• Q&A• Networking – “Get to know your neighbour”
Ask yourself…• What does help mean?• How do communities view volunteers?• What are the positive and negative impacts of voluntourism?• How would you suggest to minimise the negative impacts and maximise the positives?• Short-term Vs. Long term volunteering?• How would you set-up a voluntourism project?
If you are going to volunteer…• Do your research – Social networks, blogs, google, previous volunteers• Do you have transferable skills?• Where does the money you spend go?• Will your presence benefit or hinder?• Why do you want to volunteer?• Who are you volunteering for?• Be honest with yourself…
Finally…• Standardised guidelines• Local ownership & partnership, in depth and long lasting• Volunteers to be need to be trained extensively – before, during and after• Applicants need to be screened thoroughly• Need for a feedback loop• Applicants motives need to be questioned• Transparency