Positively Striving for Responsible Tourism
At African Portfolio we truly believe in the power of tourism. We believe that responsible tourism in Africa leads to a positive impact on both the economy and the environment. In the past decade it’s become quite fashionable among our fellow tour operators to create their own charities in order to sponsor a specific school, orphanage or community program. This is admirable of course, and we’re sometimes asked if African Portfolio has set up a charity, given our reputation as a strong supporter of sustainable tourism. The answer is – no, we have not. We believe there are many charities out there, we don’t have to create one more. Once you do the research, it tends to be the locally based, homegrown efforts that are the most sustainable and effective organizations in Africa. These are the organizations we tend to support.
Our public involvement in promoting responsible tourism to Africa has been more in the field of education. We believe that sharing our enthusiasm and knowledge about Africa, with our own local community here in Connecticut, has a positive long-term impact for the destinations we serve. We host a number of events throughout the year and invite guest speakers from safari photographers to professional safari guides.
We have also linked in with our fellow conservationists at Audubon Connecticut, Greenwich Point Conservancy, and The Greenwich Land Trust. Inspiring our own community to travel to Africa, directly impacts the local economy and helps create and sustain local jobs. Since one out of every 20 jobs in Africa is in the tourist and travel industry, a two week safari will have way more impact than a one-off donation to a school or orphanage. Creating more jobs in well managed, community based tourism also leaves a much lighter footprint on the environment than competing sectors such as mining in Africa. Tourism is a win-win for the land and the people
Having made the point that we’d rather create jobs than give handouts, it’s been the case that many of our clients have returned from their visits deeply moved by what they have experienced, and in turn have given their financial support to local organizations, long after their holiday snaps have started to fade. That’s what we at African Portfolio consider a real success!
Find out more about: The Impact of Tourism in Africa