Responsible tourism is a term used to express the idea that travel should aim to have a positive impact on the environment and cultures of the countries that tourists visit. These principles can be relevant to any type of holiday whether it’s a safari, a beach holiday or an iconic journey by road or train.
Tourism can be a powerful tool for economic and social development; it's a labour-intensive industry, which can bring benefits to cash-starved communities through job creation and small business opportunities. But at the same time, it is important to support community empowerment so that the community and local heritage is not destroyed by the changes that tourism inevitably brings. To be successful, community up-liftment must be controlled by the community itself.
Caring about the environment goes hand-in-hand with community development as it's impossible to conserve the environment without sustainable rural development. If people aren’t able to make a living this puts great pressure on the local habitats and eco-systems, as they may be forced to exhaust local resources in order to survive.
Much has been written and said on the subject of Responsible Tourism and our policies and practices are continuing to evolve. We welcome debate so do read our Code of Practice and email Dianne to let us know what you think. You might also be interested in our common sense guidelines and our suggestions of charitable organisations that we think are making a real difference.
Help us to use your left-over currency effectively
We encourage all our customers to give us their left over currency which we can then funnel back into local charities. In Latin America we do this through the LATA Foundation that currently has 13 projects across the region. In Madagascar we work with the Madagascar Development Fund, and together with out customers’ Ariary, and our commitment to match funds raised, the Anjoma Ramartina State Primary school was able to buy desks for the children and tables for the teachers.
"This is just to let you know that we used the Ariary 505,600 you gave me to buy 7 three-seater school desks/benches (for the children) and two tables (for the teachers) at Anjoma Ramartina State Primary school - about a 3 hour drive west of Antsirabe. I leave it to you to judge from the attached photographs just how much happiness Rainbow Tours and its clients have given to these young children - whose 'desk' was previously two bricks and a plank, of wood - carried several kms each day to school in their backpacks! Thank you once again for Rainbow Tours' and your clients' generous support for what MDF is doing to help poor communities in Madagascar. I hope it will not be long before we can welcome you here and show our appreciation."
Madagascar Development Fund