Now more than ever, we are connected as a global community under the common goal of health, safety and recovery during this pandemic. As we move forward, it will be crucial that we band together to help those whose livelihoods are being severely and dangerously impacted by Covid-19. That’s why at FTLO, we want to draw attention to communities around the world that are currently facing severe impacts COVID-19’s impact on tourism and who may not have access to government assistance.
Did you know?
Tourism employs more people worldwide than any other industry, which means there are millions of people relying on this sector for their survival - especially women, youth and individuals from marginalized communities. Women make up 60% of the labor force in the hotel sector, for example, while half of all employees in hospitality are under the age of 25. Because many jobs require little to no formal education, the industry also creates opportunities for those without a diploma or degree.
Revenue from tourism also helps to improve local neighborhoods by generating funds for roads, water supplies, internet access and waste disposal to attract more tourism and lift their communities out of poverty. In Rwanda, for example, communities surrounding the country’s national parks receive 10% of the revenue from tourism, which to-date, has already helped to establish 700+ projects to improve local education, sanitation and housing.
The industry is ever-evolving and new partnerships and initiatives are being put in place to ensure that your tourism dollars will reach these communities in the most effective ways. That’s also why at FTLO, sustainable travel is one of our main core values. We partner with local businesses and support mom-and-pop shops whenever we can to provide our travelers with the most authentic experiences, while making sure your dollars stay local - and not in the hands of big corporations.
How can you help?
To start, instead of entirely canceling future travel plans, consider postponing them. Look for opportunities to receive credits instead of refunds. If possible, plan a more elaborate trip or extend your future trips to visit more destinations. If you don’t have any current travel plans, consider making some! A lot of airlines, hotels and travel companies have created flexible programs that come with additional perks or that increase in amount over time.
According to a recent survey, once restrictions are lifted and we’re safe to travel again, most people intend on traveling just as much, if not more, than they had planned for 2020. Since launching 2021 trip dates, we are seeing many are actively planning new trips for the future.
Maintaining or creating future travel plans will largely assist in helping the travel and tourism industry get back on its feet once this pandemic is behind us. So consider pushing those trip dates a few months back, to give yourself, others, and the world some time to heal.
Our community of local suppliers, vendors, and trip leaders are what make FTLO trips incredible. So, in an effort to help our guides, cooking class instructors, catamaran operators, salsa dance teachers, and all of the other amazing individuals we work with around the world, we have created a "One World" hoodie, where 50% of all proceeds will go to support tourism workers around the world, whose ability to feed their families and pay their rent has been jeopardized by the impact coronavirus has had on tourism.
At FTLO, we have been blessed with such an amazing, vibrant and caring community of travelers, and we know that you are itching to find ways to help your global community. Now, you can pre-order a comfy FTLO sweatshirt for yourself and loved ones and know that you're helping to keep mom-and-pop shops around the world afloat while you’re self-isolating. #stayathome
As we move forward, we continue to encourage you to stay involved in your community - your global community - to help ensure that we all remain safe, have food on our tables, roofs over our heads, and the ability to travel and connect in person again soon.