on 8th September 2009 |
I've never been a huge fan of labels, mainly because only a select few know what the hell they mean. However putting that aside, let me explain how I interpret geotourism.
We are quite set in our ways about the whole field of responsible travel. We believe that people want great holidays first and foremost and the ethics of our holiday choices are only a hygiene factor. So we want to have confidence that our choice is ethical but really just want to be able to concentrate on finding the most fun, most inspiring, most alive holidays. That is why we love the concept of geotourism.
To me, Geotourism is travelling to experience local culture, local places and local people. At its simplest it is staying at a locally run b&b eating good local grub and getting a few tips from the landlady on where to visit. The diametric opposite of staying in a four star hotel with international buffets. The beauty of geotourism is that by going local, not only are you likely to have a better experience (assuming you don't like dull sameness) but by learning about the locality and using local businesses the local community and place will benefit more too.
So is Tourdust a proponent of responsible tourism or geotourism? I don't know, all I know is we spend a lot of time and effort trying to track down adventure holidays and cultural tours from local experts. Most of the time this means a genuinely locally owned and run business, but not always - it comes down to who can give the best locally-flavoured experience. Along the way we try and do what we can to support the communities we travel to. From humble beginnings and all that, but at the moment we are supporting the Geotourism 09 contest and we have a monthly quota of new suppliers we take on who we work with on a non profit basis. This tends to include our volunteering holidays, but also can include very small local operators who aren't set up to be able to pay commissions.