Tourism is a powerful force, changing lives and landscapes all over the world—for better and for worse. While creating livelihoods and opportunities for millions, the travel industry also tends to widen the gap between those who have the privilege to cross borders and explore the world, and those who do not.
The One For One Travel Alliance is all about closing that gap. We believe that everyone deserves the chance to travel, regardless of where they were born or how powerful their passports may be. We believe that underserved youth, especially, have the most to gain from the eye-opening power of a travel adventure. In a world rife with inequalities, the act of travel has the potential to be a deeply unifying human experience. But how can we put it within reach for everyone?
Our answer to that challenge is the one-for-one giving model. Think TOMS shoes for travel experiences. As tour operators, we’ve come together to spread the awe and joy of travel in a more equitable way. For each trip we sell, we donate a local travel experience to disadvantaged young people in the destinations we serve.
When these kids have a real travel experience for the first time, everybody wins. The kids gain a newfound appreciation for their nearby natural and cultural wonders. They’re empowered to learn, laugh, explore, and make the kind of travel memories that we take for granted. In this way, we are “democratizing” travel experiences, allowing local people access to their own natural and cultural heritage sites that are usually reserved for the foreign tourists and local elite.
True story: on a One For One trip, kids in a rural community were invited to go on a zip line in Nicaragua at a nearby resort. Upon seeing it for the first time, one of them gasped with excitement. “I didn’t even know such a thing existed!”
That spark of joy is what One For One is all about.