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Connecting with people from around the world is, in part, what makes the tourism industry so fascinating! When you travel you inevitably broaden your scope to include new perspectives of the places you visit and the people you meet.
Here at Austin Adventures, we have been so moved by our experiences that we have created programs to not only improve the lives of people in the places we visit, but also to educate travelers and propagate the importance of sustainable travel. Our mission has been to develop programs to help, protect, and sustain the places we visit – that’s why AA has developed Wheels of Change and the Preserve a Park Program. Both are unique programs that are driven by passion to help create a better future for us all.
Wheels of Change is a non-profit organization to help provide mobility for the people in Africa, by providing donated bicycles. For example, a healthcare worker can visit up to four times more clients by biking instead of walking and girls are 70% more likely to attend school if their household owns a bicycle. We are now entering our second year and recently sent a second container of 350+ bikes from local donations to Nairobi, Kenya. We are working with a Nairobi woman to establish a much needed bike shop. One of the best things about this program is that they build a bike shop from the shipping container and it provides jobs in the local community. Again taking it a step further, our new Kenya Program visits that shop and renting and riding bikes with our guests and the local “crew”.
Director, Dan Austin: “This effort was so energizing and eye-opening! We witnessed the community (and our staff) rally to collect hundreds and hundreds of bikes and through it all, I kept learning more and more about the process, the opportunities and the growing need for such programs in rural Africa.”
Preserve a Park Program is our way to give back to our National Parks, by pledging a $100 per person donation to a designated non-profit organization for each guest reserving a spot on one of our 2013 Oregon Adventures.
“New guests and our loyal alumni love knowing that a portion of their trip fee helps preserve our national treasures,” said Dan Austin.
Austin Adventures was just awarded the Global Vision Award by Travel+Leisure for corporate innovation with our work with Wheels of Change and Preserve a Park Program. AA is very honored to receive such a prestigious award and it only fuels our passion to create sustainable and responsible travel.
Sustainable Tourism isn’t just about providing sustainable adventure tours, it’s about YOU! That’s why we have teamed up with Pack for a Purpose, a non-profit which assist travelers wanting to give back to local communities by providing supply list for specific destination. We’ve also teamed up with Sustainable Travel International to help support responsible travel and ecotourism to protect the cultures and environments they visit.
Some people classify these acts as philanthropic, but we believe that it is simply the right thing to do! If everyone ‘put’s in a little more than they take out’ think of the amazing change we could see in the world!