Leaving a country better than you found it is a great standard to have while traveling the world. I know that when I travel I like to make sure that I am staying at local hotels and eating at local restaurants so that my money is staying in the country instead of going to large private companies who may not be giving back to the local community.
These standards that I mentioned before are the standards of fair trade. In order for someone to fully practice and be involved in fair trade they must have:
• Fair working conditions and fair prices
• They must be integrating into the local economy and regional development
• Have fair trade partnerships between all actors in tourism
• Must use sustainable resourses and environmental justice.
There is an international company called Traidcraft that offers fair trade tours around the world. Their motto is "fighting poverty through trade." Something that they said on their website that I found to be very powerful was, "For more than 30 years, Traidcraft has been fighting poverty through trade, believing in the positive and transformational potential of trade to bring hope to millions trapped in poverty."
I looked into their Nepal tour is see how they demonstrated fair trade. On the tour you will spend time with the ceramic and handmade paper producers. The company GPI ( Get Paper Industries) was established in 1985 as a family business. It is" now a cooperative and workers are involved in all aspects of decision-making through a number of committees." "While on the tour, the tour facilitators, Mahaguthi, bring their knowledge of local communities and fair trade to this tour and encourage you to enjoy Nepal that few tourists get to experience. Mahaguthi Craft with a Conscience is a fair trade organization who work with more than one thousand individual producers, fifty percent of whom are from remote and mountainous areas."
Traidcraft believes in leaving a positive impact on the countries that you visit. Their tours are ran responsibly and seek to:
• respect all people - both travellers and those who provide services to them
• work with local partners in long-term relationships ensuring local people benefit economically and socially from our visits
• ensure that guides and others involved are paid a fair wage
• respect the environment, minimise impact on resources and the natural environment and encourage recycling where possible
• respect local culture and traditions and report on our impact on them
• build links with locally-based tourism projects that have a pro-poor focus
• operate in line with all Traidcraft’s existing best practice policies towards suppliers
• ensure travellers are given advice on how they can travel more responsibly
We make no grand claims for how these tours will change the world, but we do believe that they will change those who go on them and those who are visited by them.
I think that this is a phenomenal company that is really trying to make a difference in both the consumer's and the local people's lives. If we are traveled with these things in mind we would get a better taste to what is going on in the world and how we can truly make a difference. These tours are rich in culture and purpose. I know that that is they way that i want to travel!