Travelers’ philanthropy promotes tourism businesses and their guests making concrete contributions to projects in tourism destinations. It generates resources – “time, talent and treasure” –above and beyond normal payments for goods and services of the tourism business. In tourism destinations around the world, travel-generated donations are helping to support and empower local communities by providing jobs, skills, and lasting improvements in health care, education, and environmental stewardship. Today thousands of tourism businesses are generating tens of millions of dollars a year through visitor and corporate contributions. It is about integrating philanthropy into the core definition of responsible travel. It is also about:
- Helping tourism businesses become actively involved as ‘good citizens’ in their travel destinations.
- Assisting local projects that provide a ‘hand up’ not a ‘hand out;’ that is, projects that promote social empowerment, education, training, and entrepreneurship that lead to sustainable, long-term development and environmental conservation.
- Enriching the travel experience through meaningful, culturally sensitive, and productive interactions between visitors and people in host communities. The Osa Travelers’ Philanthropy Fund incorporates these benefits while moving to a new level by creating a destination-wide initiative which is cost effective for individual businesses; strengthens the image and brand of the Osa for high quality, small scale ecotourism; and has the capacity to generate greater contributions through a coordinated, effectively publicized, and efficiently run campaign.