Planeterra continued to be at the forefront of community tourism in 2022. As travel restrictions were lifted, we were thrilled to receive images and videos from our partners as they welcomed back travellers after shutting down due to the pandemic. But the road to recovery has not been easy for everyone and a great part of our work in 2022 was focused on ensuring that communities are able to benefit from tourism once again.
We continued supporting community tourism enterprises through our Global Community Tourism Network (GCTN). In 2022, our team hosted several Community Hours and monthly Webinars, both in English and Spanish, and we continued providing ongoing support and mentorship for community tourism enterprises through our Learning Hub.
To date, 450 community members from 77 different countries are part of the GCTN🌎
One of the major highlights of last year was the launching of the Global Community Tourism Fund. This is a grant program that supports growth and recovery for community tourism enterprises within the GCTN through small grants and mentorship. Each of the recipients received a flexible grant to support initiatives such as infrastructure upgrades, equipment purchases, marketing, training and more.
Read more about the first projects supported by the fund, here.
Over the past year, our team collaborated for the first time with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in the ‘Sustainable Tourism and Protected Areas in a Post-COVID World’ project, funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The goal of this project was to bridge the gap created by the pandemic on tourism and develop a more crisis-resilient and sustainable landscape in and around protected and conserved areas. The focus was also on building back better for the people, wildlife and ecosystems, as well as improving the ecological and social aspects of tourism.
Planeterra and IUCN worked in the Río Abiseo National Park and Amarakaeri Communal Reserve in Peru and Cuc Phuong National Park and Van Long Nature Reserve in Vietnam. Our team in the field first worked with community members in each protected area to understand the current situation of tourism, provided training in topics such as ecotourism, health & safety, and marketing and deployed a series of initiatives, one of them being the cash for work activities, to benefit community members.
Planeterra closed 2022 granting wishes with our annual holiday campaign, The Wish List. This year, the goal was to help our community partners fully recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support them in getting ready to welcome travellers once again and benefit from tourism.
To create more impact, the Wish List focused on uplifting five critical areas:
- Women’s empowerment.
- Conserving cultures.
- New paths for youth.
- Environmental protection.
- Tourism recovery.
We are thrilled to announce that the Wish List campaign was a success and it surpassed our goal of raising CAD 50,000! Thank you to everyone who donated and supported us throughout the campaign. Without you, none of this would have been possible.
To close off, we would like to celebrate the awards and recognitions Planeterra received in 2022. Our Global Community Tourism Fund, through which Planeterra provides small grants to help local entrepreneurs and communities worldwide benefit from tourism, was recognized in Condé Nast Traveler’s first-ever Bright Ideas in Travel list (read more about it, here). We were also humbled to receive the Meaningful Tourism Award 2022 in recognition of our commitment to creating a new approach to tourism (click here to learn more about it).
And with this, we come to the end of some of Planeterra’s work in 2022. In the next couple of months, we will be releasing our 2022 Impact Report, so do not forget to subscribe to our newsletter to be the first one to read it. Also, follow us on Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to learn more about our work and all the exciting things we have in store to continue using community tourism to change lives in 2023 and beyond.
As we look forward to the new year, we are excited to be celebrating Planeterra’s 20th Anniversary! Twenty years of working to uplift communities and to show that tourism, when done right, can truly be a force for good.
Stay tuned for more exciting announcements about our anniversary. If you would like to be part of the celebration and have visited one of our partners over the years, share your favourite #PlaneterraMoment with us by tagging @planeterracares on Instagram or send us a message with the link to your post.