If you know us at all, you know how much responsible travel means to us, and how (not-so) mildly obsessed with it we are. It’s a huge honour to be recognised by our industry as one of the leaders in responsible tourism, specifically in the category of ‘engaging people and culture’. How cool is that?!
“At Urban Adventures, we aspire for everyone in our organisation to be PERFKT, meaning they’re passionate, enthusiastic, responsible, fun, knowledgeable, and commit to togetherness. Without our values, ultimately we are nothing”, says our General Manager, Tony Carne. “Responsible travel is therefore a key plank in everything we do and in every decision we make.”
Our overarching business model is set up so as to empower local tourism entrepreneurs. Local ownership of the local Urban Adventures business license is integral to our model, as we want our partners to be proudly local and proudly Urban Adventures in equal measure. That translates into 800+ guides and managers in over 120 cities in more than 80 countries around the world, all of whom are crafting and leading tours that show travellers true insight into local life, and also feed money directly back into their community’s economy by supporting and partnering with independent businesses.
“We want the benefits of having a group of people come and experience local stories to be a win-win situation all around”, says Carne. “Not only should the traveller be given a deep, unique, memorable perspective of a destination, but the local guide should be fairly compensated for sharing their stories, and the local independent vendors visited on tour should also be rewarded by the fruits of tourism. In our opinion, when engaging in tourism for good is no easier or harder than engaging in tourism that does harm, why would anyone choose the latter?”
We don’t view tourism as a way to “check things off a list”. We view it as a way to understand the world beyond our own borders. We believe that if done poorly, tourism has the power to exploit and destroy; if done well, can foster curiosity, understanding, respect, and tolerance. That’s a lot of influence, and we want to be on the right side of it. For us, engaging with local people and culture is equally important for the locals as it is for the travellers. The success of Urban Adventures is built around that real human connection and bringing together people with common interests. It’s why locals want to be our partners, why travellers want to travel with us, and we’re pretty sure it’s why we’re up for this award.
It really is cool to be given a nod of the head for being who we are, which is why we’re mad proud of everyone at Urban Adventures for being their authentic selves and helping us make it to the finals of the World Responsible Tourism Awards. Thank you!
The World Responsible Tourism Award 2015 winners will be announced on November 4th at World Travel Market (WTM) in London, UK. Keep your fingers crossed for us!