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Fair Trade & Eco Tourism in France

Travel is a way to understand, appreciate and create bonds with a culture that is different from one's native culture. It should also be a means for the host population to benefit equally from the social, cultural and economic exchange in a sustainable way. Fair Trade Tourism aims to maximise the benefits of tourism, not only for the tourists but also for the local, host communities through mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships.

 

When in a foreign country, the traveller is the 'foreigner'. Often times, the tourists tend to forget this basic tenet of travel to other countries or travelling within their own countries to different locations. The 'host' communities are marginalized as a witness to tourists even though the latter may benefit the local commerce.

 

 

Fair Trade in Tourism aims to bring sustainable development in tourism by benefit sharing with the host destination stakeholders, whether they are actively involved in tourism or not. This is achieved through the participation of host community by taking their interests into account- benefits of tourism for the host destination and the impact of tourism on their environment; generation of employment of local residents, their training and development; adhesion to local rules and guidelines on health, safety and environment controls; anti-corrupt practices; negotiation of fair price by tourists and local commerce, fair distribution of revenues; healthy competition between foreign and local investors, compliance with local tax structures for foreign investors; transparency in information related to the impact of tourism on host destination and participation of tourists in socio-cultural, economic and ecological concerns of the destination; sustainable working conditions with health and safety concerns, wages, working hours, non discrimination, no child labour etc.

 

In short, Fair Trade tourism empowers the destination's stake-holders including small, independent beneficiaries by giving them equitable market access and more bargaining power. It also allows the tourists a better understanding of and subsequent participation in the host community's socio-cultural, economical and environment. These goals are achieved in adherence with the International Trade Agreements, Tourism Industry regulations and destination Government policies while respecting the consumer behaviour and the stakes of the local community.

 

Find below some addresses of organisations in France and elsewhere that are engaged in Fair Trade and Eco-Tourism.

 

Taddart

Created in 2001, Taddart is a non-profit association with the aim to promote tourism that has an identity, of local development where all concerned members have a sense of dignity, sharing and equal exchange. Taddart offers tourist circuits that allow the tourists to share local life in family houses, rural areas or camps in order to maintain the environmental and ecological balance of the place, discover natural sites on foot, gastronomy etc. of the destination country. These circuits are proposed in countries such as Morocco, Burkina Faso, Mali, Albania etc. In addition, Taddart donates part of the money to selected projects in destination countries.

Tourisme Équitable et Solidaire, 20 rue Clavel 75019 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 02 79 85

website of Taddart (in French)

 

Association Cybèle Planète

A non-profit association created in 2005, it offers ecological projects, similar to EcoVolunteer for its travellers. It aims to preserve the bio-diversity by bringing the necessary support to its chosen projects; sensitize the travellers to nature; promote an alternative and ethical mode of travel, development of partnerships with developing countries etc.

These research or study projects are conducted in natural parks or animal habitat in countries such as USA, Canada, Brazil, Poland, Bulgaria, Mongolia, Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa etc. Example of some of these projects are researches involving Przewalski horses of Mongolia; bats in Benin; wild fauna in South Africa; Jaguars in Brazil; rhinoceros in Swaziland; dolphins in Italy etc.

website of Cybelle Planète (in French)

 

Planète Urgence- Congé Solidaire

Combine work leave with humanitarian mission

Planète Urgence is a French association, founded in 2000 and oriented towards on-site action to work simultaneously on issues of development and protection of the environment in the poorest countries. Its unique model of action: the 'Congé Solidaire' or the 'solidarity leave' where people can use their leave to go on an international mission of solidarity during their time off, funded by their company or not. These missions are in alliance with local NGOs and focus on hands-on aid for people and protecting nature. To complete their actions, Planète Urgence develops special programs: The 'School Kits' operation for disadvantaged children as well as 'Climate Change and Sustainable Development' programs.

Congé Solidaire proposes various projects in countries such as Benin, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Angola, Morocco, Nigeria etc. Example of a Congé Solidaire Financial Management Training Project in Pondicherry, India.

Planète Urgence, 39 rue Crozatier, 75012 Paris

website of Planète Urgence (in English and French)

 

Allibert Mountains & Deserts

trekking the mountains and deserts with a certified trainer-guide

Operational since 1975, Allibert operates trekking tours in mountain and desert regions around the world with respect to environment and participative tourism with the help of certified guides and trainers for mountains. Allibert is the first tour operator certified with ATR (Acting for Responsible Tourism or Agir pour un tourisme responsable). Simply put, this translates to transparency in communication with clients, using the services of third parties with same commitments, a balanced exchange with local partners, sensitizing the tourists to sustainable development in the host destination and reducing and compensating the carbon dioxide emissions.

website of Allibert Montagnes et Deserts (in French)

 

Chemins de Sables

With Ushuaïa by Ethnika Voyage, Chemins de Sables offers a unique way of ethical travel throughout the world off the beaten track from thematic travel accompanied by specialists of archaeology, botany, natural fauna, environment, nature, ornithology, ethnology, flora,....Allowing a close interaction with local population, helping in local projects and preservation of natural and cultural heritage through tourism is their philosophy.

Chemins de Sables, 2 rue de la Roquette, 75011 Paris

website of Chemins de Sables

 

Amerik Aventure

dialogue with native American cultures

Founded in 1996, Amerik Adventures proposes the discovery of the Meso-America and Costa Rica. The enterprises aims at promotion and development of ethical tourism oriented towards the understanding and appreciation of cultural and natural milieu of the Americas.

Website of Amerik Aventure (in English and French)

 

Vacances Bleues

travel differently

Created in 2000, Voyager Autrement is a member of ATR and proposes its tourists circuits as a meeting ground with local associations, NGOs, small enterprises, teachers, artists, doctors etc. in the host destination...A real cultural exchange and solidarity by donating part of the sum of various associations in the host countries.

website of Vacences Bleues (in English & French)

 

Double Sens

Bénin and Burkina Faso local living

A travel agency created in 2006, Double Sens proposes fair trade tourism towards Benin and Burkina Faso in Africa. The tourists get to live in a local village, promoting an understanding and appreciation of local culture and interaction with them. It also allows the tourists to participate in excursions to off-beat tracks with the spirit of adventure and sustainable tourism.

website of Double Sens (in French)

 

Fair Trade and Eco Tourism elsewhere in the world

EcoVolunteer

volunteer work for protecting the nature

Ecovolunteer travel is an extraordinary way to discover natural milieu that are not accessible to 'tourists' while protecting nature and the local population at the same time. The principal of eco-volunteer vacations is to engage persons as volunteers on projects in natural environment on animals, their protection, scientific research, collaborating with a local team and researchers from different countries allowing them to be in close proximity with nature, animals, understand research on animals, living and working with the local population etc. The financial aspect of the travel helps to support the project and the local populations to a large extent. The duration of engagement on a project depends on the requirement of the project and on the availability of personnel.

Example of some projects are tropical forest ecosystems in Colombia , Brown Bear Project 450 km North-West of Moscow, Asian Elephants in Thailand, Orangutan in Bukit Lwawand on Sumatra Island in Indonesia, Iberian wolves near Vale da Guarda in Portugal etc.

website of EcoVolunteer (in French)

 

Mondo Challenge

Founded in 2001, Mondo Challenge is a UK based outfit that offers career-break volunteer work programmes based on cooperation with local NGOs and charities with whom it coordinates volunteer projects in developing communities across Chile, Ecuador, Gambia, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Senegal and Romania. These projects are identified in areas such as teaching English, business development, community development etc. to ensure that volunteers have a meaningful impact during their placement.

website of Mondo Challenge (in English)

 

Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage

work with underprivileged children and animals in South Africa

Daktari, founded in 2002 as a non-profit company, is a wildlife orphanage which uses orphaned wild animals as an education medium. Volunteers stay in the campus to help with the school curriculum for under-privileged children and care for orphaned animals. This helps them have close interaction with the South African and other cultures; help in wildlife conservation and community project. In free time, they have the opportunity to explore the surroundings.

website of Daktari

 

Some Useful Links

The International Ecotourism Society

Excursia Paris 24 rue Ravignan, 75018 Paris. For scientific, naturalist or eco-solidarity travel.

Parcourir le Monde 46 rue Franz Schubert, 31200 Toulouse France. For discovering the country through a clown's eyes and living locally while financing social projects in the host destination.

Via Brachy 36 Rue Bernard Mulé, 31400 Toulouse France. Caravans of solidarity between Toulouse and Timbuktu. During 3 months, the association helps people with motor difficulties to reintegrate, live and travel together with others in a uniquely human and innovative concept.