In anticipation of World Tourism Day, this is the perfect opportunity to take a closer look at how the travel and tourism industry impacts the planet, positively and negatively. Withlocals has been working on its mission to reshape the world of travel since 2013 by offering authentic experiences that connect people and cultures
Over the years, sustainability has become a strategic initiative to support this mission. This has resulted in the company receiving a B Corp certification in August 2022. Withlocals now joins more than 5000 other B Corp companies committed to solving social and climate problems worldwide. Well-known certified brands include Ben and Jerry’s, Tony’s Chocolonely, Alpro, and Patagonia.
Influencing sustainable tourism
Sustainable tourism is complicated. On one hand, the tourism industry contributes to up to 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, it contributes to over 6% of global GDP and is responsible for 1 out of every 11 jobs in the world. Tourism can be sustainable when the effort is made to minimize the negative impacts and maximize the positive ones. Part of the negative impacts to a destination include economic leakage, damage to the natural environment and overcrowding to name a few. But there are ways to tilt the balance with positive impact actions like job creation, cultural heritage preservation and interpretation, wildlife preservation, landscape restoration, and more.
That’s why Withlocals is proud to be part of a movement that prioritizes purpose beyond profit and has now joined other forward-thinking travel brands such as Intrepid Travel, Much Better Adventures, and Better Places in their journey to change the way people travel:
“We are on a mission to reshape the world of traveling with people, places, and the planet in mind. By maximizing locals’ benefits, we make sure the money ends up in local communities.”
Matthijs Keij, CEO Withlocals
The road to B Corp
Becoming B Corp is a process, not a destination. Obtaining this certification is just the first step. Maintaining it is a strong incentive to stay on the right track in terms of sustainability and social impact.
For over a year Withlocals went through an extensive certification procedure to measure their sustainability efforts and social impact. The company revised their policies to benefit its primary stakeholders: travelers, local hosts, their communities, and the planet. Examples of these improvements are a focus on host happiness, fair pay analysis, updates of policies prioritizing the health of the Withlocals destinations, employee success enablement and many other practices. These efforts have a proven and positive impact on the team, community, governance, the environment, and customers.
“Joining the B Corp movement means joining a group of amazing fellow companies that see the need for a better future, prioritizing honesty and transparency and knowing we can always do better, and pushing ourselves to do the right thing for society and our precious planet.”
Peigi Rodan, Sustainability Manager
Withlocals will embrace B Corp’s philosophy of full transparency and continuous improvements. For that reason, the company will release an annual report to publish their efforts towards a more sustainable travel market and highlight which changes have driven the most impact.
The B-Corp certification is just the beginning. The real work starts here.