Rural Adventure Tourism and Social Entrepreneurship: Practices and Trends BEST Educational Network Think Tank June 22, 2007 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Rural Adventure Tourism and Social Entrepreneurship: Practices and Trends BEST Educational Network Think Tank June 22, 2007

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Understanding the unlikely pairing of adventure and social work ... Global Sojourns - South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana. Relief Riders International - India ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Rural Adventure Tourism and Social Entrepreneurship: Practices and Trends BEST Educational Network Think Tank June 22, 2007


1
Rural Adventure Tourism and Social
Entrepreneurship Practices and Trends BEST
Educational Network Think Tank June 22, 2007
Christina Heyniger, Xola Consulting Kristin
Lamoureux, George Washington University
2
Outline
  • Understanding the unlikely pairing of adventure
    and social work
  • Market Statistics indicate continued sectoral
    growth
  • Overview of study participants
  • Findings
  • Emerging business models
  • Recurring challenges
  • Compelling successes
  • Emerging Best Practices
  • The Future

3
Defining Social Entrepreneurship
  • Social entrepreneurship defined
  • Social entrepreneurs use entrepreneurial
    principles to organize, create, and manage a
    venture to make social change.
  • Whereas business entrepreneurs typically measure
    performance in profit and return, social
    entrepreneurs assess their success in terms of
    the impact they have on society.
  • In recent years social entrepreneurs have begun
    leveraging tourism to help attain social
    improvement goals.

4
The organizations in this study are blending
social and business goals in a variety of ways.
  • We examined tour operators and NGOs blending
    adventure tourism with initiatives aimed at
    improving social and environmental problems
  • Protect the Earth, Protect Yourself (PEPY) -
    Cambodia
  • Explorandes - Peru
  • Global Sojourns - South Africa, Tanzania,
    Botswana
  • Relief Riders International - India
  • Los Ninos - Mexico
  • Generosity in Action - Global

5
Blending tourism with social causes is a trend
that continues to build.
  • 24 of travelers are interested in taking a
    volunteer or service-based vacation - TIA report,
    2005
  • Baby boomer are a key demographic 47 of
    respondents age 35-54
  • International Institute of Peace through Tourism
    estimates 7 of all trips in 2005 had a service
    component.
  • United Way partnered with Cheaptickets.com to
    launch a website for people planning holidays
    with a service component in 2007.
  • ASTA and Global Volunteers launched an initiative
    late 2006 to promote volunteer service travel as
    a unique way to experience new places, people
    and cultures while making a positive
    contribution.
  • Youth and educational tourism accounted for 20
    of global tourism market in international travel
    in 2002.

6
Though it may seem like an unlikely pairing,
natural synergies exist between adventure tourism
and social entrepreneurship.
  • Adventure Travel
  • Rural, remote
  • Increasingly takes people to travel in developing
    countries
  • Tries to engage travelers in cultural
    Interactions
  • Involves people pushing perceived limits of
    experience
  • Expensive, attracting travelers with disposable
    income (largest segment is baby boomer
    demographic)
  • Social Entrepreneurs
  • Often look to serve rural and remote populations
  • Seek to address issues in poor and developing
    areas of the world
  • Are creative people, pushing limits of known
    solutions to issues
  • Access unconventional sources of funding due to
    the often unconventional projects they launch

7
The adventure tourism industry has a long history
of aiding local communities.
  • Two examples mountaineers and river runners
    pioneer best practices
  • 1960s in the Himalaya
  • The Khumjung School established by Sir Edmund
    Hillary
  • Educates students to read and write in their
    native Sherpa language and to learn skills
    appropriate to their environment.
  • Local teachers were trained and employed.
  • In 2005 Mountain Travel Sobek and The Nature
    Conservancy partner on the Upper Mekong in
    Yunnan, China, teaching local Chinese to operate
    their own river trips with MTS support.

Whats new Increasing levels of traveler
participation Increasing number of companies
doing community projects
8
Findings Todays Emerging Business Models
  • 1. The Interwoven Itinerary
  • Tour operators take an adventure tourism
    itinerary - bike, horseback riding,
    hiking/trekking - and include volunteer visits to
    villages along the route (PEPY, Explorandes,
    Relief Riders International)
  • 2. Adjust Standard Procedure to Include Tourists
  • NGOs and other aid or research-focused
    organizations (church groups for example) invite
    tourists to join in their work for short periods
    (Los Ninos)
  • 3. Innovations to Support Donors in Direct
    Giving
  • A general backlash against big business has led
    many philanthropists to want to give to small
    projects and know precisely where and how their
    donation is applied.
  • Donor-brokers focused on the adventure tourism
    sector take traveler desires to donate and help
    establish aid projects or vet existing projects
    (Global Sojourns Giving Circle, Generosity in
    Action)



9
Findings Primary Challenges
  • The best intentions may sometimes have
    unintended consequences
  • Tour operators may establish dependencies they
    may not be in a position to serve long term
    sustainability is an issue
  • Voluntourists may over time put local
    communities in a welfare state of mind when self
    empowerment, not a welfare state should be the
    goal
  • Giving what we think they need rather than what
    they actually need/ cultural exports
  • Balancing traveler expectations with the
    realities of humanitarian and environmentally
    oriented field work is difficult
  • For companies, balancing short range profit needs
    with the longer term results horizon required
    for social projects is difficult

10
Findings Emerging Best Practices
  • NGOs and Tour Companies alike can benefit from
    these lessons learned
  • Appropriately identify community needs
  • Create a shared investment - communities and the
    traveler-volunteers must both contribute in some
    way
  • Start by identifying organizations who have
    history in the region before launching new
    initiatives that may be duplicative seek
    partners
  • Follow up maintain a presence in the regions you
    visit

11
Findings Compelling Success Stories
  • Even with the challenges, the benefits to
    communities, travelers and businesses are
    compelling enough to warrant continued
    exploration.
  • Tour operators and NGOs
  • In leveraging community assets for tourists,
    assist destinations in enhancing and preserving
    their natural and cultural aspects and strengthen
    product offerings
  • NGOs are able to attract funding more easily when
    people can experience in-country the benefits of
    their donation
  • Communities
  • Receive aid for common needs medical,
    educational, infrastructure
  • May develop businesses catering to tourists
  • Travelers
  • Add the emotional benefits of giving back to
    the standard list of tourisms intangible
    benefits rest, relaxation, cultural exploration,
    adventure
  • Episodic type of volunteer experience combined
    with travel attracts people who may not typically
    volunteer in their home setting

12
The Future
  • Educators -
  • Continue learning and guiding students in
    designing practical tools for leveraging tourism
    to benefit social and environmental causes
  • Industry practitioners -
  • Look across industries for lessons learned

13


Kristin Lamoureux Klam_at_gwu.edu 202-994-
8197
Christina Heyniger Christina_at_xolaconsulting.com 2
02-297-2206
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