About Us

Planeterra is the leading community tourism organization working to reduce poverty around the world.

Established in 2003 by entrepreneur, author and philanthropist Bruce Poon Tip, Planeterra is a non-profit organization that has contributed millions of dollars towards projects in areas of social enterprise, healthcare, conservation, and emergency response.

The Planeterra Foundation is registered under Canada’s Not-for- Profit Organization Act and 501(c)3  in the United States.

How We Are Different

By working with Indigenous and rural communities with a focus on women and youth, Planeterra ensures the ripple effects of tourism are endless. Through grants and training, we help community businesses earn an income from tourism. Local businesses then invest in their economies, education, healthcare, and the environment.

Where other development models typically generate positive results over a 3-5 year horizon, our projects see positive returns within the first year. In the case of some of our earliest projects we have now seen continual growth for over a decade.

Our Model

Planeterra’s projects directly meet the needs of travellers and are driven by market demands.  All projects fall into one of the following categories: Meals and Food, Tours and Experiences, Handicrafts, Accommodation, and Transportation.

By providing capacity training, catalyst grants and connecting our partners to a market partner, we are able to provide a foundation of customers, making the project successful and sustainable long-term.

The Ripple Effect

By supporting an ever-growing network of community tourism enterprises around the world, Planeterra ensures tourism dollars are increasingly remaining in the hands of local people. As a result, economic opportunities are created, places are protected, and cultures are celebrated through travel.

Women Leading Communities

Empowering women to participate in social enterprise development helps to build their self-esteem, and give them a chance to take on leadership roles in the community.

Reduced Urban Migration

Youth in remote communities often leave their families to find jobs in larger cities, but tourism can provide opportunities that lets them build their futures in their home communities.

Education

Providing financial stability to parents allows them to invest in their childern’s education, and allows youth in some communities to be the first generation to attend higher education.

Environmental Preservation

Travellers want to see the best of a region’s landscape. Capacity training helps provide tools for communities to practice improved land stewardship and protection of natural resources.

Cultural Celebration

Tourism experiences that include opportunities to learn about indigenous traditions can be influential in keeping cultural practices alive through knowledge sharing among community members.

Health & Sanitation

Bringing a steady stream of travellers into a community requires development of a clean water supply and infrastructure for sanitation and hygiene, which also provides benefits to local residents.