What is Travolution.org?
Travolution.org is a Network developed by people from all around the World, working together to foster the sustainable development of communities and travelers. Today we are located in countries like Cambodia, Colombia, Chile, UK, Sweden, and still growing!
We believe human encounters have the power to drive development sustainably.
Facilitate cross-cultural experiences that enable beneficial encounters for travelers and local communities through community-based tourism.
Tourism can be a great tool for the sustainable development of local communities, and Travolution.org can help us all achieve that goal. For that, we base our actions on five main principles:
Inclusiveness: As the openness required for encounters and the will to invite everyone to show their opinions, and to participate in the network.
Dialogical Encounters: We understand that sustainable developments starts when people interact. Thus, we foster dialogue in every human encounter.
Sustainable Livelihoods: In every community, in any location, there are livelihoods that have been thriving for years. They are unique and represent the creativity, understanding of life and values of that community. Thus, we believe they are valuable too. Changes can (and sometimes must) be made in order to render them more sustainable (this means that those livelihoods can be maintained indefinitely with a relative welfare for all the community members and the environment –in particular and as a whole).
Pro-poor Travel: When it’s about tourism, we prefer helping the poor to live better than the rich to get richer. But we go one step forward on this. We want to help small entrepreneurs to get a better participation on the value chains generated by the industry, meaning that most of what we/you pay when traveling ends up in local pockets and is used for the sustainable development of the community.
1) Become the World’s Community Based Tourism Network, present on all the continents and especially in most of the poor and developing countries. (This means for 2012, at least 400 communities and 30 associations from all over the World forming part of the Network)
3) Directly help at least 50 communities develop sustainably using tourism as a tool for that goal in an organic coordination with other productive sectors whiel maintaining a thriving environment.
4) Position the CBT as a reliable tool for the sustainable development of local communities (developing at least 10 research projects with this goal, organizing encounters between stakeholders to share knowledge and hypotheses and sharing all available related knowledge through the members ot the network ).
Travolution.org is organized around 4 main projects:
1) Tour Operator. Many development programs that work on tourism leave the marketing part aside, often causing these projects to fail. We believe that development is possible through tourism and that it can be a good source of income for local communities, but only if we actively work for it.
2) Networking Project. History has shown more than once that when humans associate, there can be powerful outcomes. That’s why we will work courageously in the development of a global network for communities involved in tourism.
3) Community Development Project. Tourism can drive development. But development is not only driven by tourism! We believe integral and organic coordinated work between productive sectors must be done in order to drive sustainable development. This must be done from the identification and valorization of the territorial capital. Travolution.org aims to contribute to the local communities’ process of development by developing joint projects. These projects might take the form of joint applications to funds, voluntary programs, consulting and others.
4) Research & Development Project. As a Network for the sustainable development through tourism, our responsability is to foster an adequate process of development. For that we need to base our work on reliable knowledge. This is why we believe it’s absolutely necessary to spread and generate knowledge on how tourism must be undertaken so that it fosters sustainable development. For that, we will share documents, carry out action-research processes, organize and participate in seminars, encounters and fairs on community based tourism.
2007 – London. The Idea comes up. 5 people studying in London gather with the idea of contributing to the development of Local Communities. They think about it for months and get to the idea of a global network through CBT.
2008 – Uganda. Travolution.org founders get the opportunity of getting in touch with local communities and propose the idea. It meets with great enthusiasm and thus, it is carried out! As it became clear that tourism was not a “panacea” for local development (because most of the time incomes didn’t remain in the communities and actions taken for the sake of tourism were far from sustainable), the idea of the Network is reinforced with a Community Development, Tour Operation and Research & Development programs.
2009 – Colombia, Cambodia, Chile, Egypt. The Network starts to grow and new volunteers appear in different countries. The different projects are defined in their goals and methodologies. By the end of the year, Travolution.org’s informal existence seems unsustainable. Members of the organization decide to found the start-up office in Chile.
2010 – Chile. Latin America, Africa, Asia. Travolution.org’s social enterprise is created in Chile and the Foundation is in process (it takes about a year). The network continues developing and alliances are signed with associations in Cambodia and Chile. Travolution.org gets its first external funds for the marketing of CBT programs in Chile, with the prospect of expansion to the rest of the continent in the relative short term and to the World in the middle and long terms.