Did you know that tourism is one of the largest industries in the world, employing 1 in 11 people and generating US $7.2 trillion annually? Imagine what can happen if we harness this powerful, global force with positive social, economic and environmental impact in the communities around the world we travel to. That is the vision and mission behind GOOD Travel, a social enterprise focused on changing the face and experience of travel in an effort to create a better world for all.
If you believe in having a positive impact on the places you visit, connecting with the communities you meet and learning through your journey, then GOOD Travel has the perfect trip for you.
I had the opportunity to talk with Eliza Raymond, one of the Co-Founders and the Director of Operations at GOOD Travel. Here is what she has to say.
When were you founded, by who and why?
A Booking.com report concluded that while 46% of global travelers consider themselves a sustainable traveler, only 5% of travelers believe it is easy to travel sustainably. GOOD Travel exists to directly address this gap and to make it easier for travelers to have a positive social, economic and environmental impact on the places they visit. We do this through our GOOD tours as well as advocacy, research and events focused on influencing tourist behavior for GOOD. Our tours are carefully researched and designed to create unique, impactful and transformative experiences for travelers to have a positive impact on the destination being visited.
What is your mission?
Our mission is to inspire and empower travelers to have a positive social, economic and environmental impact on the places they visit.
What are five of your best trips?
Iceland, September 23rd-28th, 2019– Discover stunning waterfalls and glaciers, support one of the world’s first eco-villages, explore your creativity with artist Baron Wright and experience Iceland’s famous (and secret!) lagoons.
Thailand, November 17th-24th 2019 – Learn about life in a traditional Thai village, explore the markets of Bangkok through the eyes of the locals, visit the Burmese Learning Center to learn about how your trip is contributing to their important work, and relax on white sandy beaches.
New Zealand, March 1st-8th 2020 – Enjoy classic Kiwi highlights and get off the beaten track to experience some of our lesser-known secrets. This tour will give you a truly unique experience of our beautiful home, and make you feel GOOD on every step of your journey.
Zanzibar, March 23rd-30th 2020– Explore Dar es Salaam through the eyes of local entrepreneurs, experience the magic of the Indian Ocean, visit the markets of Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Zanzibar, and connect with the work of Twin Hearts in Kizimkazi village.
Peru, June 27th-July 4th (for moms and daughters) – Spend time with like-minded moms and kids in a true community of travelers whilst showing your kids how to be responsible travelers, kind and compassionate friends, researchers of new cultures, explorers of new experiences and appreciative of all they have.
What makes you unique in the field?
We were co-founded by four women from four continents with a shared passion for transforming the tourism industry into a force for GOOD. Together, we are combining our backgrounds in international development, social entrepreneurship, experiential education and tourism to change the face and experience of travel, and ultimately create a better world.
We recognize that doing GOOD is complex and we are constantly learning and improving. In all decisions we make, we are guided by our core values of learning, openness, passion, transparency and integrity.
We have a strong focus on partnership and collaboration. We are linked to many of our tourism partners through collaborations created during time living in host countries and working in international non-profits. When we don’t already have existing partnerships, we rely on trusted referrals and extensive research.
Our goal is to offer extraordinary trips and also to transform the ways in which travelers think about tourism.
“I am more aware of my surroundings and the effects that my traveling has on the local community. I see how easy it is to have a huge impact on the community I travel to” ~ Fiji trip participant 2018
What makes you a responsible tour company?
- All accommodations are carefully selected due to their focus on sustainability and community.
- All tour companies are carefully selected due to their focus on sustainability and community.
- $100 per person is donated to a local project.
- Through our pre-departure information and in-country briefings, we actively encourage our travelers to reflect on what it means to be a GOOD traveler in the destination they are visiting.
- By traveling with GOOD Travel, GOOD travelers are also supporting our wider advocacy work, including our campaigns, research and events all focused on transforming the tourism industry into a force for GOOD.
Do you give back to the community or charity? If so, how?
What is the #WasteFreeFlyer movement?
The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Airline waste is a big contributor to this problem. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), on average every airline passenger generates at least a kilogram of waste per flight.
Join GOOD Travel with the #wastefreeflyer movement a social media campaign to inspire travellers and airlines globally to take the lead in reducing single-use plastics.
- When: This is an ongoing campaign.
- What: Take a photo of yourself on your flight using a reusable bottle or cup and share on social media with the hashtag #wastefreeflyer.
- Why: The goal of this campaign is to reduce the amount of single-use plastics generated on flights. Learn more about the plastic problem and other ways you can reduce your use of single-use plastics on your next trip here.
- Who: This campaign is being led by GOOD Travel, a global community of travellers determined to transform the tourism industry into a force for GOOD.
Want to learn more?
Eliza Raymond is one of the Co-Founders and the Director of Operations at GOOD Travel. Eliza holds a Master of Tourism from Otago University, New Zealand. As the former Executive Director of the Global Volunteer Network Foundation, Eliza has travelled to over 40 countries and published widely on tourism.
About GOOD Travel
Do you know of any travel organizations that are doing good and giving back to the local community? If so, please let me know. I’m building a growing list of these amazing organizations as a resource for my readers on sustainable, responsible travel companies. Thank you!
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