Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?
We work with many local communities in areas of very heterogeneous geographies (natural and human) but that have in common start up tourist enterprises. We understand by Community Based Tourism (CBT) that form of hospitality created and managed in person by the local communities. In Europe alone there are 6.4 million people who want to live such experiences (PhoCusWright, 2008). Travolution.org seeks to facilitate genuine intercultural encounters, coordinating a network, as a meeting point between supply and demand, giving life to a community about CBT.
Tourism feeds on natural and cultural resources that have traditionally had other uses and meanings. The challenge shared by the communities we serve, is to deal with the advent of tourism with reflection and consensus, so that it becomes a source of equity. The TBC is, therefore, very often the point of arrival and a few times starting to rearm social communities in a process of self-organization, to represent their culture in the face of tourism.
Only in Chile we are connecting at least 3,750 families working in CBT, which, projected to Latin America means about 150,000 families, who are potential members of the network.
Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!
Governments and NGOs support the CBT, but by focusing their activities only in the development of supply and they not empower communities, creating subsidiary economies. CBT ventures fail in their market insertion and few manage to sustain themselves commercially (Mitchell & Ashley, 2008). There is a global operator specializing in CBT, Responsible Travel, the largest operator recognized that works with CBT, donates 1 pound for every program sold. On the other hand, there is a mass of global travelers who need global information. Travolution.org innovation:
- Creating a new niche market: We have identified an emerging global demand for CBT to foster and educate them with updated and firsthand information.
- Favouring the development of a new product: Creating the first global platform marketing CBT, promoting the generation of networks and carrying out community development programs, positioning the CBT, as a new product into a new niche, and as a source of entrepreneurship, employment and skills development.
- Implementing participatory and empowerment processes, including governance of Travolution.org. Realizing that we are all agents of change, we want entrepreneurs in their territories, which are the "receivers" of our work, to promote, inspire decide and the future of Travolution.org.