Communities Hit Hardest by the Pandemic are Being Supported by Travelers
The Adventure Travel Conservation Fund (ATCF) is joining forces with over seventy businesses in the travel and outdoor industries to raise funds to support ten local ecotourism projects on five continents. Especially hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ecotourism sector is in urgent need of a lifeline—and it’s one that this alliance between an adventure travel conservation group and travelers from around the world are providing. Called Supporting Communities Who Support Conservation, the ATCF campaign kicks off on Giving Tuesday (December 1, 2020) and draws on the vast networks of ATCF’s members and partners to establish a fund that will support the communities responsible for the selected projects.
Many destinations worldwide depend on tourism as their primary source of income. With the significant halt in travel during 2020, communities are turning towards extractive jobs as an alternative to tourism, in order to put food on the table. This includes logging, mining, and wildlife trafficking, all of which will result in devastating long-term impacts on the travel destinations we love so much.
But there is light at the end of this dark tunnel. International bookings for 2021 travel are looking incredibly positive, according to Euromonitor. By supporting these communities with this grant program, we will create a ripple effect in their destination, so that when travel does reopen, these communities and wild places are still standing in pristine condition, ready to receive visitors.
The projects selected for funding are:
- Threatened Species & Indigenous Communities, Guyana
- From Mass Tourism to EcoTourism, Malaysia
- Responsible Dolphin Guiding to Support Livelihoods, India
- Regenerative Tourism in Sierra Norte, Mexico
- Reviving and Diversifying Tourism, Jordan
“Conservation does not work without the people who help make it happen,” said Soraya Shattuck, ATCF Executive Director. “If our ecosystems collapse, it will impact us, the people. So if we can support a person’s livelihood through conservation and tourism, it’s a win-win. This program will help these vulnerable communities bridge the gap until tourism rebuilds.”
The Supporting Communities who Support Conservation campaign runs through December 31, 2020.
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