A kick-start project has been devised by Exodus Travels to help support local communities around the world who are without incomes until tourists return due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The adventure travel firm’s network of tour leaders, operators and partners on the ground have been invited to identify grass roots communities in their destinations that will benefit from a grant to support local initiatives.
Nine have already been approved with more being processed as funding is increased via the Exodus Travels Foundation, set up last year to help back long-term sustainable projects.
The company has already committed £10,000 to the fund and is aiming to double the total by the end of 2020 through donations.
Projects have been identified in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Namibia, Nepal, Peru, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
The initiative comes against a backdrop of World Tourism Organisation data showing that Asia and the Pacific regions saw a 72% fall in tourist numbers in the first six months of 2020, 57% in Africa and 55% in the Americas.
Exodus Travels managing director Sam Seward said: “I am delighted to be launching this Community Kickstart Project, and hope that our own community of customers will see the long term impact this will have on the places they hope to visit again.
“This has been a challenging time for everyone, in all different ways but we have a collective responsibility to help support the places and people on our shared planet.”
Head of sustainability Kasia Morgan added: “Our passionate and committed Exodus leaders and operator partners already do so much to support their local communities.
“At this time of greatest need, we are pleased to enable them to kick-start initiatives bringing aid and recovery to the places we have taken travellers to visit for many years.
“We want to show these communities we’re standing alongside them even though we can’t currently visit them.”