Ask any plan-oriented traveler about their to-do’s for an upcoming trip, and you’re likely to hear them rattle off a list like this:
But how often do you hear about booking tours and excursions with socially conscious businesses? You might get an earful about a really cheap bar crawl or those infamous red double decker buses, but it’s rare to that social impact travel makes it to the top of the list.
However, 3 certified B Corps tour companies are aiming to change this status quo by offering travelers experiences with social impact and cultual authenticity. Each one has a distinct take on how travelers can use tour companies to ultimately make a positive impact to the given destination or a deeper and more meaningful connection to the local community.
Which one will you book on your next travel adventure?
“...connects visitors with local, unforgettable experiences that make the city we are in, better.”
Destinations: Europe, South America
Authenticitys model is a triple-win: one personal, one team, one world. They aim to create environments where people follow their personal passions, work on a team, and ultimately direct their actions actions toward a better world.
While searching on the site, you can filter your options by impact: environment, health, education, happiness, employability, and equality, or by your destination. From there, you find an array of unique options, from invisible bike excursions to a historical slave trade tour.
With every experience, Authenticitys shows users the impact of their experience, from supporting local industries to funnelling proceeds to nonprofits to offsetting their carbon footprint.
Beyond their travel experiences, Authenticitys also promotes its Authenticitys Challenge, which encourages entrepreneurial individuals to take a greater step towards improving the city where they live.
"Private guides and (very) small group tours for the intellectually curious traveler”
Destinations: Eastern/Western Europe, North America, South America, Asia
Context Tours appeals to travelers’ innate curiosities. By providing a space to engage with local experts, Context seeks to turn tourists into travelers.
Context takes away the typical tour guide and replaces them with docents, or scholars and specialists with Master’s or Ph.D’s. Instead of reciting a memorized script filled with corny jokes, these scholarly individuals give a richer, deeper glimpse into the place travelers ae exploring.
On the social responsibility side, Context seeks to reduce and mitigate the environmental impact of their offices and programs (less waste and primarily walking tours), control their social and economic impact (carbon offsetting), while also giving back to the cities where they operate (supporting small businesses and donating part of the profits to the Context Foundation for Sustainable Travel).
"A Better Tour Company for the World”
Destinations: Europe, Mideast, Caribbean
Mejdi, a word that translates to both”honor” and “respect”, is the guiding force behind Mejdi tours.
This company seeks to change tourism through a socially responsible business model. On the client side, Mejdi focuses on customized itineraries, authentic experiences, and high-quality customer service.
To honor the communities, Mejdi supports local businesses, and also allows community members to share their heritage, culture and personal stories through a multiple-narrative approach to tourism . With this method, travelers can hear from guides from different backgrounds (one Israeli and one Palestinian, for example), or those from an array of backgrounds, including political leaders, refugees, archaeologists, and journalists, to name a few.
In addition to offering tours in specific regions, Mejdi also gives custom tours for individuals of different faiths, communities or business affiliations.
With the B Corps label supporting a mission including positive social impact, these tour companies are challenging the travel and tourism industry to work better.
So, before booking your next typical travel adventure, consider checking out one of these B Corps that make a positive impact through travel, and make sure it gets to the top of your list.
Let's change the world.
Who wrote this?
Gina Edwards, Impact Explorer founder and lover of all pun jokes, making a positive change in the world, Stephen Colbert, Jif Peanut Butter, and staying inside on rainy days. Order may vary.