10 Local Tours That Let You Give Back While Traveling
Make your next trip count (and have fun while you're at it)!
(SPOT.ph) The future of travel has arrived. As declared by the United Nations, 2017 is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Simply put: Your travels can make an immediate and lasting impact on the destinations you visit.
Giving back is no longer limited to volunteer work or donations. There is a growing trend known as impact travel. Unlike “voluntourism” where people offer a short-term service to a community (which has detrimental results, studies show), impact travel works toward "sustained impact and lasting development." The revenue from that experience goes directly to the community to sustain their livelihoods, advance their development, and preserve their environment.
What better way to help our country progress, than to explore its hidden gems, while also contributing to the local communities? Don’t be fooled though—not everyone who claims to offer impact travel experiences or eco tours is benefitting others. So we’ve done the research for you. Here are 10 ways to travel with an impact around the Philippines.
Protect Davao’s wilderness with Philippine Eagle Foundation
Get the chance to see an endangered national bird, the Philippine Eagle, and contribute to its preservation. If you book a tour through Philippine Eagle Foundation’s Visit.org page, 100% of the revenue goes towards the Davao-based organization’s work to protect the natural habitat that benefits both eagles and mankind.
Support Abatan River’s economy with PROCESS-Bohol
Do you love being near water? Spend the day enjoying a boat tour through Bohol’s Abatan River, and take part in the rural villages’ cultural practices, with the help of PROCESS-Bohol (where PROCESS stands for Participatory Research, Organization of Communities and Education Towards Struggle for Self-Reliance). Proceeds from this adventure will go towards initiatives supporting local fisherfolk, farmers, women, and urban poor.
Preserve mangroves in Kalibo with Kalibo Save the Mangrove Association
When you hike through this beautiful man-made forest that protects biodiverse wildlife, you will contribute to the reforestation programs of Kalibo Save the Mangroves Association (KASAMA). Book a guided tour through this eco-park in Kalibo, and the revenue will go towards providing livelihoods and environmental preservation for Kalibo communities.
Explore and sustain Taal Volcano with PUSOD
Journey to the popular tourist destination of Taal Volcano in a unique way. When you use Visit.org to book a scenic boat ride and day tour to this exotic island within a lake, all of the tour proceeds get reinvested into the Taal community, and will contribute to the preservation of the lake and its cultural heritage.
Fight poverty in Bulacan with Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm
Immerse yourself in the agricultural beauty of the Philippines, while providing support for local businesses, locally grown food, and social enterprises. Book an overnight trip to the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm, and witness first-hand how empowering low-income communities contributes to the eradication of poverty.
Discover Intramuros with Bambike Ecotours
Cycle through Manila’s walled city on handmade eco-friendly Bambikes. When you try this fun activity, you’re also supporting the BamBuilders, a group of skilled craftspeople from communities in need, who are trained and hired by this local social enterprise.
Experience ethical island-hopping in Palawan with TAO Philippines
For a truly off-the-radar experience of Palawan and its islands, plan a slow travel adventure with TAO Philippines. This social enterprise is sustaining livelihoods and expanding Philippine tourism by visiting communities that have long been inaccessible to tourists, all while respecting the residents and environment.
Connect with locals in Banaue with Trail Adventours
Make lasting memories and genuine friendships. With Trail Adventours, you can have an authentic experience at the Banaue Rice Terraces, a UNESCO Heritage site, while also interacting with the locals.
Get closer to nature in Culion with Kawil Tours
Culion is a former leper colony in the island group of Palawan. Because of its isolation, it is untouched by the tourist party scene. Those who love natural beauty and sincere Filipino hospitality will love exploring with Kawil Tours, an environmentally conscious social enterprise that provides employment for residents of the island.
Empower communities in Bicol with G Eco Tours
Support sustainable community building and care for the environment in Bicol, when you book a community-based river tour with G Eco Tours. The Buhatan River Cruise in Sorsogon is beautiful, peaceful, and beneficial to the locals.