2020 is the year that Planeterra is working to complete Project 100, by having 100 Planeterra Projects on travel itineraries by the end of the year. These first few weeks of January have been very exciting for us at Planeterra but also for travellers who are getting to experience some of these one of a kind projects for the first time ever.
For some of our project partners, it is their first time working with international travellers, the first time some of the project’s employees have ever had a job outside of their home, the first time they are able to have a job in the community in which they live so they don’t have to move to the bigger cities to earn an income. It’s at this moment that turning travel into impact comes to fruition!
Here is a rundown of the projects that received their very first travellers this month and how these initiatives are already making a huge impact on the community, the traveller or the project partner.
Domari Culture and Craft Experience, Israel
The Dom (Gypsy) community face regular discrimination as a marginalized group in Israel, and the Domari Society was created to tackle this issue, and empower the community. At the Domari Culture and Craft Experience, travellers will get to enjoy traditional Domari food as well as learn about the culture and shop at the local shop.
“[I was] touched by her story and wish the host all the best in fulfilling her dreams of helping her community.” – G Adventures traveller
Mesilou Atamis Homestay, Malaysia
Mesilou Atamis Homestay (MAH), known as the “Highest and Coldest Homestay in Malaysia” also had their first travellers visit this month. This is the first time the Mesilou community is welcoming international tourists to their community, and the tourism enterprise is benefitting over 23 families.
The first group visited this project this month and thoroughly enjoyed their stay. Many of the travellers decided to add on an optional activity and did the Maragang Hill trek led by the MAH members, spreading even more income into the community.
Together We Earn, India
Together We Earn works to create opportunities for women in India. Ten women are employed and for many of them, it is the first time they have held a job outside of the home, and the first time they have earned their own money. Travellers will get the opportunity to eat traditional Alapphuza cuisine and get immersed in the local culture.
Travellers visited TWE earlier this month and the travellers reported perfect (5/5) scores for their experience!
Libaran Island Community Tourism, Malaysia
Being a remote island, there is little economic opportunity for those who live on Libaran Island. Additionally, this community is home to the nesting site of endangered sea turtles in which the local people take great pride. It is important for the community to have the ability to earn sustainable livelihoods so they can stay on the island and steward this fragile environment.
Visitors to Libaran Island Community Tourism have the opportunity to learn about the knowledge and culture of the island through activities such as pandanous (plant fibre) weaving, making of local snacks, demonstration of traditional fishing nets and upcycling of plastic bottles into souvenirs.
Baracoa Community Tour, Cuba
Planeterra began working together with several family-owned micro-enterprises in the area to create Baracoa Community Tour for travellers as a way to bring economic opportunities to a rural area!
Travellers have the opportunity to learn from local guides, participate in local living experiences and make some traditional delicacies. The day also includes a visit to a cacao farm, trying local food by women in the community, learning about a project working to preserve some of Cuba’s unique species, and having the chance to purchase unique handicrafts, all supporting women, men and youth of this community.
Lusumpuko Women’s Club, Zimbabwe
Lusumpuko Women’s Club was in tours last year, but because of the success of their cooking demonstration and meal with travellers, G Adventures added Lusumpuko Women’s Club to additional travel itineraries, more than doubling the number of customers for their club. With the increase in customers, the cooperative has hired ten new members who will now receive income from the tourism industry in Victoria Falls. Travellers have enjoyed this local experience for more than a year and we can’t wait for more travellers to experience it!
Planeterra couldn’t be more excited to see travellers enjoying all of the new projects! The count down is on until Project 100 is completed and we cannot do it without you, let’s keep turning travel into impact!