A community in the Galapagos Islands is set to benefit from G Adventures Australia and New Zealand’s socially responsible nature.
The tour operator alongside The Planeterra Foundation has raised over $15,000, which will be donated to one community in the Galapagos Islands.
The initiative is designed to help give locals some control over their popular destination.
Any travel professional will tell you that over the last few years tourism to the Galapagos Islands has grown drastically.
More cruise ships are sailing there and adventure companies are taking more travellers to the region than ever before.
But while the outside world has managed to benefit from the destination’s boom in visitors, locals are only seeing a small portion of those tourism dollars put back into the community.
That’s where G Adventures comes in.
The tour operator will use the funds raised to develop locally-owned and run restaurants, guesthouses and transportation on Floreana island.
The island is famous for Post Office Bay, which attracts thousands of visitors each year.
G Adventures Australia and New Zealand, Managing Director Belinda Ward said despite their success as a tourist destination, locals often struggle to find employment opportunities.
“The new tourism system enables family guesthouses to host G Adventures’ almost weekly tours, and includes an equitable rotation system for all community members involved.”
Belinda Ward, G Adventures Australia and New Zealand MD
“The family restaurants and transport owners on the island also participate in this management system to ensure all community members are benefitting equally.”
The project, which began in November 2014, has already established a community tourism operations management system with the Floreana Community Association.
The next phase of the project, to be completed in 2016, will focus on developing activities such as kayaking, hiking, snorkelling, and diving.
All profits will go back to the Floreana Community Association to be reinvested into the business as well as social and environmental conservation projects on the island.
“G Adventures and Planeterra have a history of working with rural communities who have lacked access to opportunities in tourism to bring them into the supply chain and therefore into the tourism economy,” Ms Ward added.
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