We aim to have a positive impact on communities and support charitable organisations and community projects which inspire us and where we believe we can make a difference beyond simply giving donations, through using our skills and capabilities while enriching our team members’ and guests’ experiences.
We strive to achieve this through:
- providing internship opportunities in our offices & mentoring of team members
- supporting charitable organizations through
- Welcome Gifts for our guests
- joint team outing with our charity partners and their beneficiaries
- opportunity for our team members to dedicate one day per quarter for volunteering with one of the charitable organizations we support
- enabling our guests to support local community-based projects through “Pack for a Purpose”
- encouraging the employment of local people through the hotels/lodges and projects that we support
We assess our impact through guest and staff feedback and create awareness for positive examples and success stories among our guests and staff.
Our Local Guides and Chauffeurs
In many of our destinations, particularly countries in Asia and Africa, we have found that the role of local guides and chauffeurs is male-dominant. We acknowledge that this is often a cultural norm that is hard to change. For example, in India, many women would not be permitted to be chauffeurs, not only because they are away from their family for often a week or two at a time during the high season, but also because the amenities for a woman on the road do not exist: chauffeur accommodation is entirely tailored to the needs of men. While we know that change can take time, we will always do all we can to support it.
For the past few years we have actively been seeking out local guides who are female, which we feel is ideal to change the often-patriarchal perspective of travel, and we know is appreciated by solo female travelers. If we cannot source female local guides in a particular destination, such as in rural areas where female guides are less prevalent, then we instead focus on delivering enriching experiences that are female-led.
We encouraging our guests to interact with the host communities and community-based organizations while maximizing the benefits to local economies and communities.
Supporting Women Entrepreneurs
When we first started speaking with our teams globally to find out what types of organizations and NGOs they wanted to support, we received an overwhelming response from both our male and female team members alike and across our offices that they wanted to support local female entrepreneurs. There was a shared belief that by supporting women would also provide opportunities for the wider community. This is why many of our NGO partners are female-focused. This belief is actually backed up by research, as more women participating within the workforce results in faster economic growth, according to a 2012 report by OCED entitled Gender Equality in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship. Similarly, The World Bank highlighted that by increasing the share of household income controlled by women means that spending habits are altered in favor of children.
Supporting women entrepreneurs has more than monetary benefits; it similarly offers a chance to provide with a respectful and dignified role in their society, regardless of unequal cultural norms and access to education.