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5 Trips You Can Take to Help the Planet and its People

Rainbow in Soa Zara, Ranohira, Madagascar

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G Adventures, in partnership with Planeterra, has announced the first five projects in ‘Project 100’ – a community tourism initiative with an environmental focus

Community tourism pioneer G Adventures, together with its non-profit partner, Planeterra, have announced the first five projects in its Project 100 initiative – a commitment to have 100 community tourism projects built into G Adventures tours by the end of 2020.

The five new projects bring the total number of Planeterra projects built into G Adventures tours to 80, and all will launch between January and March this year. Each year, more than 100,000 travellers visit the Planeterra projects, impacting the lives of 60,000 local people.

The new projects have a strong focus on people as well as the environment and include support of a new coral garden where travellers can snorkel in the Whitsundays, as well as a ‘green corridor’ in Madagascar, where they will plant trees in an area that has been heavily impacted by deforestation.

Bruce Poon Tip, founder of G Adventures, believes travel has the potential to help change the world, and says the company’s Project 100 initiative emphasises the company’s mission to positively impact people’s lives through travel. “It’s our goal for 90% of G Adventures’ small-group trips to visit a community tourism project that supports women and children, and Indigenous culture. Now more than ever we’re also looking at projects that empower local communities to protect their local environment at the same time,” he says.

All G Adventures and Planeterra projects are selected according to the biggest benefit to the community resulting from traveller numbers, particularly where women, youth and Indigenous people have been disadvantaged by a lack of access to education, jobs and income opportunities. The first five Project 100 projects are as follows:

 

Dqae Qare San Lodge

D’Kar, Botswana

The Indigenous San of Southern Africa are a marginalised group of people who are often excluded from the formal economy, and under constant threat from oppression that seeks to diminish cultural heritage. Dqae Qare San Lodge, a wildlife area, lodge and campsite, offers full-time employment to 12 staff members and part-time work to 40 individuals who help deliver cultural activities at the lodge. Planeterra funded improvements to facilities and connected the lodge and campsite with a steady stream of travellers from G Adventures, ensuring regular revenue for the lodge and its employees, as well as funding for community projects.

Travellers can visit on an 18-to-Thirtysomethings Delta and Falls: Westbound trip, travelling from Victoria Falls to Windhoek and priced from AUD$1,399pp.

Reef Ecologic

Whitsundays, Australia

In March 2017, Tropical Cyclone Debbie swept through the Whitsundays in Queensland devastating marine ecosystems, and impacting tourism. Planeterra partnered with Reef Ecologic to integrate their reef restoration programs into tourism experiences, and sponsored the development of a new coral garden where travellers can snorkel and experience the reef restoration.

This project can be experienced on an 18-to-Thirtysomethings Queensland: Sand & Sailing trip, priced from AUD$2,779pp travelling from Brisbane to Cairns.

Soa Zara

Ranohira, Madagascar

Madagascar is home to an abundance of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. Due to destruction by humans the island has lost 90% of its original forests, which have been cleared to make way for agriculture and used for fuel. G Adventures travellers staying at the nearby lodge plant trees during their visit in the “green corridor” next to Isalo National Park and learn about the reforestation project. Planeterra is further supporting the local organisation’s efforts via a water conservation program.

This experience is available on the 14-day Highlights of Madagascar trip, which is priced from AUD$2,719pp.

Libaran Island

Borneo, Malaysia

Being a remote island there is little economic opportunity on Libaran Island, but the importance of the island as an endangered sea turtle nesting site means it’s important that local people have the ability to earn an income so they stay on their island as stewards of this fragile environment. This project is expected to help locals increase their ability to earn an income via the development of a new community micro-enterprise tour, where travellers will learn about the local Libaran people, observe how souvenirs and other items like traditional fishing nets are made, and have the chance to try local snacks.

The eight-day Borneo to East Sabah trip travelling from Kota Kinabalu return visits Libaran Island and is priced from AUD$1,549pp.

 

Mesilou Home Stay

Borneo, Malaysia

In the past, Mesilou Atamis Homestay showcased unique traditional and cultural activities to guests, but recently more had become more like a home rentals service for domestic tourism. The community wished to share their unique culture with international visitors and increase their income from cultural immersion activities like fishing, farming, and cooking for travellers with the revival of their homestay program. With help from Planeterra, they received the necessary training to improve their homestay operation and to create new tourism activities that travellers are able to enjoy during their overnight experience in the community.

Travellers on the eight-day Borneo – East Sabah trip travelling from Kota Kinabalu return and priced from AUD$1,549pp will be accommodated at the Mesilou Home Stay.

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