We all know fair trade bananas, coffee, chocolate… but do you know about fair tourism? It is less known, but booming! The United Nations declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development recalling the potential of tourism to advance the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Trade for Development presents presents 4 community-based tourism projects that it supports.
The Masaïs in Tanzania
In regions where existing ecosystems suffer from human pressure, tourism can provide part of the solution. Inspired by successful experiences elsewhere in the world, the Honeyguide Foundation, with the financial assistance of the Trade for Development Centre, supports the development of sustainable tourism in the north of Tanzania. The Masai population is given an extra financial incentive to protect its natural environment.
A fair certification programme for tourism products
Around 2000, the South-African ngo Fair Trade Tourism started to put in place a fair certification programme for tourism products. The standard includes fair remuneration, decent working conditions, a fair sharing of revenue and respect for cultural traditions and the environment. Since then, more than 79 initiatives have been certified throughout the country: hotels, safari lodges, backpacker lodges and guesthouses, but also organised tours and ‘adventure’ type of activities. With the support of TDC FTT is exploring new opportunities on both the supply and demand sides. FTT wants to expand its activities to seven other countries of southern and eastern Africa and tries increase the number of European tour operators that offer FTT-labelled holidays. Since 2017, the first Belgian tour-operator was FTT-approved!
Cordtuch in Ecuador
25% of the population in Ecuador comprises native communities with ancestral traditions and a strong identity, which helps Ecuador to pioneer community-based tourism. Cordtuch unites 11 community-based tourism initiatives such as the Reserva de Producción de Fauna Chimborazo, the Parque Nacional Sangay and the Tren. With the support of TDC Cordtuch aims to consolidate small community-based tourism businesses. It provides support to improve the general management capacities, the development of the tourism offer on local, regional and international markets by implementing quality improvement and control systems through sustainable tourism certification, and the participation to commercial fairs in view of presenting the community-based tourism offer.
Red Tusoco in Bolivia
Red Tusoco (Red Boliviana de Turismo Solidario Comunitario), the network of Bolivian community-based tourism, brings together and supports the development of 22 small enterprises in rural indigenous communities in Bolivia in an attempt to improve living conditions by boosting the community’s natural and cultural patrimony. Red Tusoco provides training in management and tourism and fosters indigenous management. Tusoco Viajes, the business branch of the network that sells responsible community-based tours in Bolivia, forecasts significant growth of 22% a year. The project should boost job creation in rural areas.