The holidays are here ... Be innovative! Or be yourself, respecting your convictions, your desires. A new platform can help you do this. Sustainable tourism, ecotourism, solidarity travel, voluntourism, social and environmental responsibility, fair trade, ... many terms are used with many nuances to travel with respect for the natural, cultural and human environment of the destinations that welcome travellers. This is an opportunity to discover Voy'agir, a young player in the sector who wants to facilitate access to responsible destinations.
Aost tourism is the world's leading industry and is growing by about 4% every year. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) forecasts 1.5 billion tourists in the world in 2020, i.e. 21% of the world's population. The increase in the number of tourists is therefore not without consequences on the environment and the cultures of the world. To remedy this, responsible tourism is developing by introducing new ways of travelling aimed at controlling negative impacts. In addition, the demand from travellers for alternative stays is growing and reflects a certain rejection of mass tourism, increasingly preaching responsible tourism as a concept that integrates the notion of sustainable development, i.e. finding a balance between economic, environmental and social pillars.
So, if you're planning your holidays and looking for sustainable tourism destinations, i.e. hotels that respect their environment and restaurants that source locally, Voy'agir, a collaborative eco-tourism platform, can provide you with a solution. The principle: the travellers themselves reference the addresses they have discovered during their peregrinations. With one condition: that these addresses demonstrate in one way or another a social or environmental commitment.
"Our concept is not to promote only vegetarian, jungle, dry toilet facilities.explains Marine de Beaufort, a great adventurer and founder and CEO of Voy'agir. We highlight smaller initiatives that make a gesture towards sustainable development. There is no need to fall into ecological or social extremism. »
Of course, there are already labels in ecotourism. But there are gaps in these labels. Smaller establishments, in particular, cannot always afford them because they lack the skills or manpower to fill in all the paperwork. "And the excess of labels does not help to identify virtuous establishments. Platforms such as TripAdvisor do not allow research on social or environmental criteria. »
Responsible travel is easier than you think...
The "voy'actors", i.e. the community of users of the site, want to travel more responsibly, but they don't know how to do it. "Seeing 'action gives them all the tools they need to follow through on their convictions. The idea is that 1,000 people with a little commitment have more impact than 10 people with a lot of commitment. »
The strategy of this new platform is based on three axes: developing new functionalities (creation of user profiles, more sophisticated search engine, geolocation system) to make the site easier to use; enriching the content by highlighting establishments that deserve to be highlighted; increasing the community of "Voy'acteurs".
But how do you know if an establishment is really sustainable? "For now, I'm the one who's checking everything, with my own knowledge of the field....recognized Marine de Beaufort. I'm e-mailing the institutions to push the subject. Depending on their replies, I may or may not keep the address. » Eventually, the verification of the establishments will be done by the community of "voy'acteurs", with a system of notes and comments.
Among the available destinations, France, the leading destination for ecotourism, is the best informed. But there are many other countries: Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, Kenya, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Costa Rica...
Since its launch in October 2016, Voy'agir has won over 1,200 users, who have consulted or referenced approximately 300 ecotourism sites in 28 countries.
Objective: by 2020, to become THE site to consult before leaving on a trip, with a premium service for travellers who require more assistance or choose destinations not yet listed on the site.