World Tourism Day was founded by the United Nations General Assembly on 27 September, 1970 to contribute to increasing international awareness of the contribution of tourism to economic and social development, thereby promoting international cooperation in this field. The focus is on activities related to travel and tourism that are linked with sustainable development, therefore it highlights how tourism can be integrated within an overall strategy for sustainable development.
In 2020, the world came to a grinding halt. The global pandemic and travel restrictions closed the borders of many countries. To reimagine travel in 2021 and beyond, tourists have to reinvent themselves and revisit their choices.
Tragedy unites people in unexpected ways. While the pandemic has created a distance between people, many have gone out of their ways to support local communities, small-scale businesses or those who have had to shut shop due to the lockdown. As life limps back to normalcy, we can only hope that this newfound sense of interconnectedness will persist. There is reason to believe that many people would be content with local or domestic travel. Many travellers would prioritise destinations or communities hit hardest.
Philantourism is a fast-growing responsible travel trend as we see destinations slowly begin to open for travel. It is a way of supporting social progress in destination with your travel budget while immersing yourself in a deep travel experience.
"Deep Travel" is immersive and transformative, helps build cultural bridges that foster tolerance and understanding, and make the world a better place. It doesn't just change people, it changes places, too–and both for the better.
Philantourism is the anti-thesis of tick-box tourism and provides a way for visitors to give back to their destination. Shared stories from multiple perspectives engenders a care within the traveller for the host communities they meet, and catalyses positive stories about the experience and the cause.
Advocating for the periphery as an approach to destination marketing facilitates authentic experiences for both the visitor and the host and encourages a relationship rather than a transactional interaction. Taking visitors off the beaten path to reveal lesser-known sites and community initiatives that are a crucial part of a destination’s personality.
Philantourism allows for the unravelling of the cliches many popular sites suffer from by offering a thematic, focused approach to connection, care and partnership. Openly discussing the traveler’s role in the social and economic life of a destination, not only raises awareness of the issues in play, but also serves as a forum for innovation and ideas.
Philantourism is a triple threat, satisfying wanderlust, making a positive social impact and drawing attention to the chanegmaking homegrown heroes of a destination.
If Africa is on your bucket list, we look forward to welcoming you to our homes, projects and into authentic partnerships for change.