Community Based Travel
There are many ways in which community based travel has been defined. In our case, community based travel is that where the local communities are both the organizers and the beneficiaries.
Our role is just that of an intermediary, connecting rural hosts with a market that they don't have access to.
We work with regular people (who don't have travel related businesses) or with small, locally owned and operated accommodations that have a hard time accessing the market.
We view community based travel as an instrument of sustainable community development that has some specific characteristics:
- It is participative, engaging the local population in social, cultural and economic activities
- It consolidates the capacity of the community to decide on how they manage their own touristic resources
- It amplifies the sense of pride and ownership of the community about their natural and cultural patrimony
- It inspires a sense of responsibility for the environ¬ment in locals
- It encourages keeping and reviving traditions (crafts, architecture, agriculture)
- It facilitates intercultural experiences and nurtu¬res tolerance and respect for cultural diversity
- It creates unique learning opportunities in rural Romania, such as learning foreign languages from direct experience, and personal development
- It reinvests a percentage of the income obtained from travelers in community projects that aim at improving living conditions, rehabilitating traditi¬on or protecting the environment
The impact of our community-based travel program:
- engagement of the local population in cultural and social activities
- creation of a stimulating environment for social/cultural businesses and local entrepreneurship, boosting the economy of rural areas
- rise in the standard of living for directly involved families and indirect beneficiaries: members of the community that sell their products or services to Village Life programs’ participants
- consolidation of community’s cohesion and its capacity of deciding on how to manage their own natural and cultural resources, increasing their sense of pride, belonging and ownership in relation to their patrimony
- creation of new perspectives for youth in rural areas: exposure to new people and new ideas, facilitation of opportunities like multicultural experiences, foreign language practice, communication abilities development etc
- encouraging the preservation of the traditions and philosophy of a simply healthy existence, that, combined with technology, lead to a comfortable but yet sustainable life, in harmony with the environment and the community (handcrafts, ecological architecture, healthy agriculture, animal breeding)