Original Travel has introduced a new selection of itineraries presenting community-owned and run arrangements and experiences. The selection has 20 itineraries in total focusing on supporting and promoting communities across countries.
Kenya, Guyana, Morocco, Namibia and Ecuador are some of the destinations included in the range.
For a price starting at £4,565 per person, based on double occupancy, the 11-night Safari and Coast – Classic Kenya package includes flights and takes you to the Il Ngwesi eco-lodge and game reserve. The lodge not only provides accommodation but also supports six Maasai villages in the area.
The Atlas Mountain Explorer – Marrakech itinerary from the original package is an eight-night flight-inclusive trip starting at £1,470 per person, based on double occupancy. This itinerary takes you to the Kasbah du Toubkal community project, which is partially owned by the Berber community. The project plays a vital role in keeping the Toubkal National Park open and accessible to all visitors who respect it.
Staying at the lodge entails an opportunity for guests to contribute to the preservation of the natural environment and support local population, along with NGOs like the Education for All Initiative.
Tom Barber, co-founder of Original Travel, said: “When it comes to responsible travel, community-based tourism is a key component… tourism experiences and accommodation managed and/or owned by local communities, and where the economic benefits are proven to remain in the community rather than ending up offshore.
“While it is by no means prescribed, many community-based tourism experiences also have a sustainability angle or encourage visitors to learn about the local culture and way of life through authentic interactions.”
Barber added: “We believe a growing focus on community-based tourism will only help to make travel what it should be: A genuine force for good, and our aim is to greatly increase the number of these experiences and accommodation providers over time.
“We will inform clients when accommodation or experiences are owned by the local community, so they can make informed decisions on where their money can have the most positive impact.”