Make Travel Matter

In a small village in India’s Rajasthan, is a charming country hotel, Chandelao Garh. Next to it, in a rhododendron-filled courtyard, women sit together doing traditional handicraft arts known as aari-taari: embroidery, weaving and beadwork. 

This project, Sunder Rang (which means beautiful colours in Hindi) was started by the hotel owners on International Women’s Day in 2007.

Hundreds of visitors have admired the women at work, talked with them, and purchased handicrafts to bring home.  

Shopping at cooperatives such as this supports women who are then empowered to take care of themselves, feed their children and help send their daughters to school.  (In India girls often don’t have equal access to school as boys.)

One in ten people worldwide are employed in tourism, how we travel matters – now more than ever 

make travel matter by supporting womens cooperatives in places like india
Sunder Rang Cooperative, Chandelao Garh India
mandalao elephant sanctuary
Meeting the elephants at MandaLao Elephant Sanctuary

An estimated 1 in 10 jobs worldwide are related to tourism. As we contemplate a return to travel –  when it is safe to do so –  how can we “make travel matter” so it empowers the people who have suffered economic hardship, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Treadright Foundation is a valuable resource for travellers who want to plan trips that treat the people, wildlife and local environments with respect.  

At Mandalao Elephant Conservation in Laos, tourism visits enable the rescue of elephants from logging camps and  unscrupulous tourism. On my recent visit, I learned that knowing the questions to ask, before booking a wildlife tour, supports those operators which prioritize animal welfare over profits, and puts pressure on the others to change.

Our travel dollars can empower people in the communities we visit

For travellers taking an organized tour, your choice of company matters.  Companies like Purposeful Nomad build every itinerary with the objective of fostering the economic empowerment of women, truly a travel company with a purpose.

Women in the developing world are especially positioned to benefit from our travels. When we empower women as we travel, they invest in their children and communities. 

What a privilege, to have the chance to explore this beautiful world and change it for the better, even a little.

Happy travels!

womens weaving cooperative guatemala
Women weaving in Guatemala, photo courtesy of Purposeful Nomad

Five Ways to Make Travel Matter

responsible travel respects and empowers the people and places we visit 

take the treadright pledge & #maketravelmatter