Travolution.org is the Global Community Based Tourism Network

Travolution.org is the Global Community Based Tourism Network

Chile
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

Tourism is 10.4% of world GDP and 215 million jobs (8.1% of the total, according to an WTTC estimate). Because of the inequity of the industry and the creation of low-skilled and pay jobs, the host population is bearing the brunt. Travolution.org promotes inclusion, sustainable Community Based Tourism (CBT) in the market. Creating a network of online marketing and promotion, which also connects the CBT ventures among them and with professionals in the field, so that communities sustainably use their territorial capital, and complement their traditional skills with the employment generated by the CBT.

About Project

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.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We have identified 3 keys to the success of Community-based tourism ventures: 1 - Develop an offer that adds value not only through material, but immaterial resources. 2 - Connect the world‘s supply and demand. 3 - Use for the local sustainable development, the resources generated by the CBT. From these key strategies, our main activities are: 1. Support the development of the offer: We work with professionals, entrepreneurs and communities, training and designing programs that combine services from different communities, supporting the development of commercial and marketing strategies, to add value and give value to the CBT. 2. Promotion and marketing: Travolution.org platform validates and gives visibility to community initiatives. Engaging in collaborative relationships with travel agents worldwide, we seek to be the first global trading platform that specializes in CBT. 3. Promote participatory sharing, leveraging Crowdsourcing technology and GIS, managing meetings through social networks, Travolution.org seeks to empower communities, travelers and volunteers from around the world, being a catalyst for participatory processes that contribute to the development of CBT and its employment generating potential.
About You
Organization:
Travolution.org, The Global Community Based Tourism Network
About You
First Name

Sebastián

Last Name

Gatica

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Travolution.org, The Global Community Based Tourism Network

Organization Country

, RM

Country where this project is creating social impact

, XX

How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Innovation
What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

Sebastian Gatica is a Chilean with vast experience in social enterprises (co-founder and former director of Un Techo Para Chile) and tourism (created an eco-tour operator in Chile and Argentina). The sum of these and other experiences led to a deep understanding of marginalized communities, urban and rural needs and capabilities.
Bearing in mind the capital of creativity and innovation that exists in communities, in 2008, in the context of a Master in Development Planning at UCL, Sebastian went to Uganda. Again, he witnessed how communities were passing in front of their noses a giant industry, which used its resources, but did not fulfill the promise of becoming a tool for development.
For Sebastian, the kind of trip you can make a contribution to sustainable development is one in which a visitor shares with a local host who offers a genuine encounter, but defined in terms of where he or she deems better to lead him to where he wants to go.
It was impossible not to wonder: How to place a large and dynamic to the tourism industry in the hands of communities, as complementary to their traditional lifestyles, as a guide for local sustainable development? The answer was Travolution.org.

Social Impact
Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured

We have called at least 100 professionals and community leaders from 3 continents to participate.
In Chile we are implementing the pilot model with four work programs, we highlight the following accomplishments for each program:
- Networks: Travolution.org is articulating the first national network of CBT and managing the first CBT meeting for November 2011.
- Trading Platform, we have designed tour programs in 4 regions and carried out several Famtrips.
- Community development, among other consultancies, we are working for WWF in the Park established in Quinquén Pehuenche.
- Research and Development, together with the joint partnership, we already have the first "working papers" with reflections from the territories.
Globally, we have concentrated the work in the networking program. Among other achievements:
- We are articulating the Global Network with facilitators in 10 Latin American countries (Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and El Salvador), Africa (from Kenya and Tanzania) and Asia (from Japan, pointing to Cambodia and Malaysia).
- We have facilitated meetings between communities, for example, a meeting where Chilean communities visited communities in Colombia in January 2011.
- We completed the first year on-line mapping of 100 enterprises and have become a pilot project for the development H2020 crowdsourcing technology and GIS.
We see the potential and Travolution.org tendency to become "The Global Network of CBT" in the exponential growth of visits to our website (over 2000, 800 only in April, from 60 countries and 150 cities)

How many people have been impacted by your project?

101-1,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

1 - Organizational Development: Institutionalizing practices and programs in Chile, replicating the model in Colombia and Uruguay in 2012 and two others in 2013. Consolidating the joint board, volunteers and staff legal non-profit foundation.
2 - Global network: in 2013 we have 400 communities, 30 associations and at least 30,000 passengers by integrating Global Network of CBT.
3 - Trading Platform: exploiting market niches locally in Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay and Ecuador (eg, foreign exchange students and residents) to enter the market "long breath" through partnerships with agencies emissive, with the goal of international programs in Latin American market in 2012.

Sustainability
What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Trying to find a place in a competitive market with an alternative approach is a challenge that requires us to strengthen self-financing mechanisms and financial sustainability.
In addition, our comprehensive and inclusive model faces two difficulties. First, articulating a network of actors with different languages and cultures, which is dynamic and encourages participation. Second, as a network we privilege inclusion, , but as marketers, we need some standards that probably not all members of the network reach. For our values no tot become barriers will require a study of brand, that in time, allows us to differentiate a Promotion Network, composed of all the undertakings of CBT, from the trading platform, which will sell only the CBT meeting our standards.
Consequently, we have the challenge of establishing an evaluation system for services to disseminate and market, then design breeding programs to communities. This difficulty has to do with the question of the quality and sustainability Travolution.org for being a leader of opinion regarding the CBT sustainable in a context of limited evidence in this regard. Let's turn this challenge into an innovation, as we have a research area that generated the evidence.

Tell us about your partnerships

The most important are the links Travolution.org established with communities around the world, we have established cooperation relationships and trust with communities in 3 large developing continents.
We have also established partnerships aimed at expanding the reach of Travolution.org, with local and regional CBT and related organizations, among others: Networks Trekaleyin, Ecored Lickanantay in Chile, Chile Trail Foundation, the Red Ecogolfo in Colombia, the Association challenges the South of Uruguay and CCBEN in Cambodia.
In the area of technology we are bound to H2020 to have the most modern and innovative geo-referencing systems, crowdsourcing and GIS.
Regarding the value chain and marketing, we have developed partnerships with local suppliers who share our proposition (eg Nahuelbuta Tours in Chile), and we are working coordination with "emissive" organizations that are originally promoting this type of tourism (eg . Vivel Travel in Spain).
In terms of research and development, RIPES movement that conducts research on tourism and social economy for Latin America, has invited us as partners in the region, becoming the institution responsible for providing the expertise and networks in the dimension of sustainable tourism .
Finally, at the government level, we have the support of CORFO for the implementation of the CBT-trading platform in Chile.

Explain your selections

Travolution.org The initiative was developed through the ability to mobilize mixed resources. Until now, the main source of this network has been the dedicated volunteer staff of about 100 people from 15 countries who have contributed at various stages.
This year we got a consulting job for a project for WWF. We receive support in the early phase of idea by the London Agency CORFO and for the pilot, thus advancing our strategy to build an array of diversified income generation.
For 2011 we have projected the following array of funding sources:
Source Year 2011 Amount ($) Percentage (%)
$ 10,000 6.25% Business
Individual donors $ 20,000 12.5%
International Foundation $ 25,000 15 625%
National Trust 9.375% $ 15,000
Campaigns (eventos-masivas-etc.) $ 10,000 6.25%
Sale of products or services $ 60,000 37.5%
Government funds $ 20,000 12.5%
Another $%
Budget 2011 total $ 160,000 100%

How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?

One of the key elements to strengthen our project is financial sustainability. Travolution.org organizational structure includes four areas of work, or complementary projects, which have developed their own mechanisms to mobilize resources and achieve a mixed array of self-financing. During the next three years we will grow, strengthening these mechanisms and expanding each project geographically.
- Networking: Extending the network as detailed in the questions about the evolution of the project. Holding a Latin American meeting of CBT by 2012 and supporting the articulation of national networks of CBT in Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay. The site tends to bring the number of visits needed to generate revenue through Google Ads.
- Trading Platform: Selling tour packages and collecting a ethical and sustainable commission (between 10% and 15%) in agreement with all stakeholders. By 2013 our goal is to have a flow of 6000 passengers each year, reaching revenues of $ 600,000 USD and enter new niches such as institutional sales.
- Community Development: Developing advisory, consulting or projects to various stakeholders. We are implementing projects in Chile and Uruguay, which has meant our financial support.
- Research: Competitive Grants, publications and symposia.

Challenges
Which barriers to employment does your innovation address?
Please select up to three in order of relevancy to your project.

PRIMARY

Lack of visibility and investment

SECONDARY

Restricted access to new markets

TERTIARY

Lack of access to information and networks

Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.

For lack of visibility and investment, most CBT ventures sell their services in other packages. Communities do not have much access to information as other actors do not have the same understanding of the industry at the macro level and therefore it is very difficult to access new markets.
Travolution.org is a network that promotes the creation of this new market by providing information to travelers, consolidating an emerging trend, and at the same time, leading the demand of CBT information into the territories, supporting the overall design of the CBT as a new product into the market and create jobs.

Are you trying to scale your organization or initiative?
If yes, please check up to three potential pathways in order of relevancy to you.

PRIMARY

Grown geographic reach: Global

SECONDARY

Leveraged technology

TERTIARY

Influenced other organizations and institutions through the spread of best practices

Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.

Travelers operate with a global perspective when choosing their destinations, their need for information is global. This is one of the reasons why Travolution.org has worked globally from the beginning, especially at the marketing, supporting the consolidation of grassroots enterprises and the potential employer and articulating a network to obtain and disseminate information globally
To provoke a systemic change, we need the best information technology exchange and interaction in order to encourage participation. Our complete model, implemented in Chile, involves many actors and so we work on creating places for best practices dissemination.

Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)

Government, Technology providers, NGOs/Nonprofits, For profit companies, Academia/universities.

If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?

From a logic of open economy and collaborative work, our proposal to create value, grows and expands to the extent that we can leverage our ideas in those institutions, agencies, governmental or otherwise, have the resources and knowledge needed for each area of our project. This is a feature that makes Travolution.org an innovative and efficient idea; it has allowed us to grow by first initiating collaborative relationships at the local level (with each community), then regional (with networks like Trekaleyin or Ecogolfo) and national (as Sendero de Chile).