Make the world a better place by simply enjoying your vacation

Make the world a better place by simply enjoying your vacation

Mauritius
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Maurisun Rainbow and the Mauri-Sunshine Project
Living on a small island such as Mauritius sharpens the view for cultural diversity and for the vulnerability of an islands population with regards to influences from the outside such as tourism. With their Rainbow Project, local Tour Operator Maurisun aims to buffer tourisms impact by offering services that involve small local enterprises and honor cultural and ethnic structures.

Maurisun is aware that education is a vital tool for young people to escape poverty. Not wanting to change social structures of Mauritius’ beautiful and picturesque villages and respecting the traditions of its inhabitants, the Rainbow Project aims to use tourism as a tool with which living conditions in rural places can be improved.

It is thus Maurisun’s aim to secure an income for the local population by letting tourists and visitors participate in their traditional lifestyle. Hence awareness and pride in typical island life can be kept and so can the diversity and survival of small traditional businesses.

In their Rainbow, Maurisun aim to foster not only the islands nature, but also its cultural assets.

Your idea
This will be the address used to plot your entry on the map.
Street Address

14 Avenue Sodnac

City

Quatre-Bornes

State/Province

230

Postal/Zip Code

230

Country
Year innovation began

2006

Geotourism Challenge Addressed by Entrant

Quality of benefit to the people of the desitination

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Indicate sector in which you principally work

Tourism-related business

Geographic location

Multiple locations.

Plot your innovation within the Mosaic of Solutions
Main barrier addressed

Cross-cultural myopia

Main insight addressed

Incorporate sustainable practices

Innovation
What is the goal of your innovation?

We aim to buffer tourisms impact by offering services that involve small local enterprises and honor cultural and ethnic structures.”

How does your approach support or embody geotourism?

It is our aim to secure an income for the local population by letting tourists and visitors participate in their traditional lifestyle. Hence awareness and pride in typical island life can be kept and so can the diversity of small traditional businesses. We furthermore help protecting the islands nature by close collaboration with nature protection organizations.

Describe your approach in detail. How is it innovative?

The Maurisun Rainbow is self sustaining. By incorporating social projects into their range of services and collaborating with hotels and lodges that have a sensible approach to nature, Maurisun provides the eco-friendly and sustainable basis for their business.

What types of partnerships or professional development would be most beneficial in spreading your innovation?

Collaboration and support by travel agencies on an international level, who'd propagate and communicate our services to their customers and actively sell the Rainbow packages. Also publication and reviewing of our services through the media.

Impact
In one sentence describe what kind of impact, change, or reform your approach is intended to achieve.

Maurisun strives to make the term eco tourism become an everyday term in Mauritius and actively contributes to the protection of the natural and cultural environment by sharing it with tourists.

Describe the degree of success of your approach to date. Clearly define how you measure quantitative and qualitative impact in terms of how your approach contributes to the sustainability or enhancement of local culture, environment, heritage, or aesthetics? How does your approach minimize negative impacts? 200 words or less

We have started to implement the Rainbow last year. So far, participants are very happy with us and we have repeatedly had people spontaneously offering to support the company or institution visited. It's hard to put the success into numbers as of yet, but its a promising onset! It helps tourists to understand the cultures and peoples on our island better and by sharing they revolutionize their value system. Our Mauritian partners at the other end profit by expanding their perspective of the world and learn how to deal with tourists in a natural way. Besides monetary gain, they also rebuild pride in what they do, their crafts or way of living, which then strengthens their society and helps traditional trades to survive.

How does your program promote traveler enthusiasm, satisfaction, and engagement with the locale?

Of course as a Tour Operator Business it is our job to make the people we work with happy. Plus we provide a very personal and flexible service. Our Rainbow partners are also our friends and we cultivate friendship with our co-workers and visitors alike. We enjoy what we do and this transpires into our work. We believe in the principle of sharing rather than give and take.

In what ways are local residents actively involved in your innovation, including participation and community input? How has the community responded to or benefited from your approach?

Our company consists largely of Mauritians. The people and institutions we work with are purely Mauritian. We regard our job as a way to benefit from the island by letting the island benefit from us. This is why our Rainbow not only works for the nature environment, but also for the social and cultural environment.

Describe how your innovation helps travelers and local residents better understand the value of the area’s cultural and natural heritage, and educates them on local environmental issues. How do you motivate them to act responsibly in their future travel decisions?

We take the clients out to interact with the local people and animals on a very direct basis. They learn Creole and about Mauritius from the children in their classroom. The animals come in very close contact during our Wildlife visits, which is an inspiring experience in itself. Visitors also see the impact of civilization on nature during our guided tours. Our trained guides motivate the guests to sponsor or participate in our projects. We do promote our Rainbow activities through the media, the internet and through direct communication with the clients. We hope that all of the above contributes to our clients future decisions regarding their holidays. The best is that since we started to interact with foreigners who appreciate their nature, the locals we are dealing and working with have regained respect for their own natural resources and a new understanding of how important it is to protect them.

Sustainability
Is your initiative financially and organizationally sustainable? If not, what is required to make it so? What is the potential demand for your innovation?

Being a part of our Tour Operator Business, the Rainbow is sustainable in itself. The more successful it is, the more we can expand it.

How is your initiative currently financed? If available, provide information on your finances and organization that could help others. Please list: Annual budget, annual revenue generated, size of part-time, full-time and volunteer staff.

We are a working Tour Operator Business, also offering "normal beach vacations". The Rainbow interweaves with our normal activities. We can therefore not single out which part of our income is generated through the Rainbow. Also, the local businesses we collaborate with generate their income directly from our activities. The more successful we are, the more income our partners can generate too. Our main investment consists of our efforts to sell the Rainbow to other tour operators and to clients directly.

We would like to grow as a business and take the Rainbow with us. We are very interested in developing activities in countries such as Madagascar, South Africa or other African Countries.

What is your plan to expand your approach? Please indicate where/how you would like to grow or enhance your innovation, or have others do so.

We would like to grow as a business and take the Rainbow with us. We are very interested in developing activities in countries such as Madagascar, South Africa or other African Countries.

What are the main barriers you encounter in managing, implementing, or replicating your innovation? What barriers keep your program from having greater impact?

Locally, we are limited by the small market. Another problem we are facing is that some local tour operators have a very poor and distorted image of eco-tourism. They offer outdoors activities such as quad biking and four-wheel driving in their "green tourism" range It will take time to correct that image and communicate what it is that foreign visitors expect from a clean nature environment. Pollution and poor waste management are real threats!

The Story
What is the origin of your innovation? Tell your story.

I come from Denmark and have been living in Mauritius for 6 years. Having been interested in nature since my early childhood, I later became a diver and a dive instructor. This sharpened my eye for the fragility of our eco-system as seen in the example of the corals.
I traveled a lot and lived with indigenous peoples in Malaysia, in the Sinai Desert and in other countries, fore mostly in Asia. They shaped my understanding of the preciousness of nature and that we must protect it.
Since I came to Mauritius I have wanted to pursue a program for the protection of the rather quickly disappearing nature treasures of the island. In collaboration with Birgitta who works for our creative department, I have structured my ideas and put them into the Maurisun Rainbow. We were looking for a way of tourism that is beneficial for the environment instead of being a threat. My family has been a great support to me and a constant source of inspiration in my work for the development of this new form of tourism.

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers' marketing material.

Kevin Koborg, Danish citizen living in Mauritius, 41 years old
After general education, I attended the hotel and restaurant school in Copenhagen.
I then spent 11 years within the hotel industry (national and well as international)
Attained my business degree within management
Became a PADI open water dive instructor
Spent much of my leisure time travelling
Taught diving and started to develop destinations for diving and adventure holidays on a freelance basis
Became booking and product manger in a travel agency in Denmark
Since 6 years I am living in Mauritius, with my wife Dominique who is a Mauritian nature lover
We are both actively involved in our company Maurisun Adventure & Tours Ltd

Please write an overview of your project. This text will appear when people scroll over the icon for your entry on the Google map located on the competition homepage.

Maurisun Rainbow and the Mauri-Sunshine Project
Living on a small island such as Mauritius sharpens the view for cultural diversity and for the vulnerability of an islands population with regards to influences from the outside such as tourism. With their Rainbow Project, local Tour Operator Maurisun aims to buffer tourisms impact by offering services that involve small local enterprises and honor cultural and ethnic structures.

Maurisun is aware that education is a vital tool for young people to escape poverty. Not wanting to change social structures of Mauritius’ beautiful and picturesque villages and respecting the traditions of its inhabitants, the Rainbow Project aims to use tourism as a tool with which living conditions in rural places can be improved.

It is thus Maurisun’s aim to secure an income for the local population by letting tourists and visitors participate in their traditional lifestyle. Hence awareness and pride in typical island life can be kept and so can the diversity and survival of small traditional businesses.

In their Rainbow, Maurisun aim to foster not only the islands nature, but also its cultural assets.