A new how-to guide, “The Travelers Philanthropy Handbook,” created by the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) and written by 30 experts in the field, promises to bring new efficiencies to the important world of travelers’ philanthropy.
“Over the last decade, a growing number of travel companies have begun to channel corporate and guest contributions into local community and conservation projects,” said Martha Honey, co-director of CREST, the policy-oriented research institute based in Washington, D.C., and at Stanford University. “Yet many of these give-back initiatives are frequently ad hoc, uncoordinated, and unmeasured. Done effectively, travelers’ philanthropy can raise significant funds and have a considerable impact on a region, while making the donor feel better about their footprint and the company they traveled with. It’s a win-win.”
The purpose of the handbook, according to Honey, is to provide best practices, share success stories and realize the full potential of travelers’ altruism. With a foreword by Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Wangari Maathai, the 250-page handbook includes original essays, case studies, and surveys by some 30 experts, including Toni Neubauer, founder and president of Myths and Mountains; Lars Lindkvist, director of Basecamp Explorer; Julie Klein, environmental affairs director at Vail Resorts; and Jane Crouch, responsible travel manager for Intrepid Travel. Other experts include tourism professors Sam Ham and Kristin Lamoureux; David Western, former Kenya Wildlife Service director; Mark Spalding, president of The Ocean Foundation; and David Abernethy, professor emeritus in political science at Stanford University. These writers describe the evolution of travelers’ philanthropy, and explore a wide range of success stories, challenges, lessons learned, and best practices.
The first study of its kind, the handbook has been praised for its timeliness and practicality by critics from the World Bank, Condé Nast Traveler, United States Institute of Peace and Tourism Cares. “It’s an excellent compendium of sound practical advice and should be considered essential reading for all of us concerned about maximizing the benefits of tourism for local communities and conservation,” said Erika Harms, executive director of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and senior advisor on tourism at the United Nations Foundation. Kevin Doyle, Condé Nast Traveler news editor, said he considers it to be “the most user-friendly and comprehensive assemblage of information I’ve seen on how the travel industry and travelers themselves can give back to the communities they touch.”
Travelers’ philanthropy has been one of CREST’s core focuses since 2003, when it launched http://www.travelersphilanthropy.org/, a website that accepts donation on behalf of travel companies looking for guidance, community and 501c3 tax-deductible status. CREST’s Travelers’ Philanthropy “tool kit” also includes a video documentary, training courses and an experts’ bureau. CREST is hosting its Third International Travelers’ Philanthropy Conference in Costa Rica, July 20 to 23, and is currently involved in two field projects in Costa Rica designed to strengthen travelers’ philanthropy in Monteverde and the Osa Peninsula. The handbook is available in a free, downloadable format on the CREST website, http://www.responsibletravel.org/. It can also be purchased in CD-ROM and book format. For more information, visit http://www.responsibletravel.org/.
Source: Travel Pulse