Attitude of Gratitude
By Jason Jourdan
With a collective sigh, the world bids farewell to 2021, a year viewed by many as slightly better than the last (insert 2021 trials). As 2022 dawns, the travel industry is looking forward to continued rebuilding and realizing the benefits of sustainability practices. The consensus is one of gratitude for the fresh start ushered in with the changing of the calendar.
Gratitude is said to be one of the most important of emotions. Scientific studies suggest having an attitude of gratitude yields positive outcomes. Better sleep, improved relationships, and enhanced empathy are among the benefits of choosing to be thankful. What about travel?
Amid the uncertainty spilling from news headlines, opportunities to see the world and give something back have never been more abundant. The ability for travelers to marry purpose with purchase comes at a time when individuals are looking to have an impact on important issues, given the political, societal, and environmental uncertainties regularly dominating news headlines. Giving back is an essential value to Americans. The United States boasts an impressive 25% of US residents who volunteer. Travel is a natural unifier for such efforts. Studies show an increasing number of travelers are arranging their trips to include volunteer work or other forms of giving back as part of their next big adventures. Travel abroad empowers tourists to change the places they visit and the lives of their residents for the better.
“A Candle never Loses any of its Light while Lighting up another candle.” – Rumi.
Social Impact Travel is a growing trend with Millennials and members of the Z Generation. The travel industry aims to guide these tourists in their efforts to support local economies and make a positive impact in host communities. Travel is a primary source of export earnings in 20 of the 48 least developed countries. According to a United Nations report, the international travel industry represents 9% of global GDP. However, of the estimated $7 trillion generated each year, only 5% remains in local communities.
Traveling for social impact centers on learning and respecting a destination country's cultural, economic, and environmental needs. Sustainable Travel International, whose mission is to make travel beneficial for people and places around the world, cites a few of the basic tenants of traveling with purpose:
· Safeguard nature -conserve our fragile ecosystems
· Combat climate change - reduce the carbon footprint of tourism
· Empower communities - celebrate local cultures, improve livelihoods of host communities
· Tackle waste and pollution - lessen the amount of waste and pollution from tourism
Social Impact Travel also combines travel with volunteering for organizations in local communities. Examples include giving time to childcare or tutoring, construction projects, conservation efforts, and assisting healthcare programs.
A family volunteer vacation is a perfect way to bond with loved ones and make lasting memories. Volunteering abroad as a family provides quality time together while instilling the value of community service.
Luxury travel firm, Brownell, has cultivated resources and recommendations to assist customers in giving back while they travel:
1. Shop Locally – support locally-owned restaurants, artisans, stores, and businesses
2. Pack for It – save space for supply donations to local communities Pack for a Purpose
3. Be Green – help local water conservation by reusing hotel towels and sheets
4. Volunteer – give just one day of your trip; there are so many ways to make a difference
5. Keep traveling – many destination economies are heavily dependent upon tourism dollars
Buying travel can make a difference. Several public benefit corporations have arisen to assist socially conscious individuals, and businesses seek ways to address travelers' impact on the communities they visit.
Kind Traveler is the first socially-conscious, ‘give + get’ hotel booking platform. Travelers ‘give’ to a local charity in their destination community and ‘get’ exclusive rates to book directly with curated hotels and unique properties. Charities receive 100 percent of Kind Traveler donations.
Corporations, non-profits, and small businesses looking to give back by encouraging employees, clients, or vendors to support a charity can look to Traveling To Give for travel-based fundraising options.
International Volunteer HQ provides fully hosted volunteer experiences and opportunities to serve people and the planet across the globe.
Now is the time for that attitude of gratitude as 2022 is staring at a spike in covid-19 restrictions. International travel carries risks, even when done responsibly. When planning a purpose-driven trip, advanced planning is crucial.
Consider monitoring the restriction status of your intended destination, working with a trusted travel advisor or public benefits corporation, and relying on the experts at Point Comfort Travel to ensure the right level of travel insurance policy coverage. Point Comfort Travel Insurance guards against the risk of unseen occurrences, including:
· Covid-19 medical expense coverage up to the policy maximum
· Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation
· Emergency medical reunion
· Return of minor child
· Emergency traveler assistance
t's no boast or brag (okay, maybe a little) to share the enriching experiences of traveling with purpose. Spread the word about the protection of Point Comfort® Travel and use #pointcomforttravel to post your adventures online!
CLICK HERE for your FREE quote.