All of Pearls of Uganda community tourism products on the website share a common vision…to support and promote sustainable community tourism in Uganda. But what does sustainability mean? And how does that impact your travel experience?
Pearls of Uganda members attempt to adhere to three central pillars of sustainability – environment, social/economic welfare, and management.
Pearls of Uganda communities strive to minimize their negative impact on the environment by attempting to reduce their consumption of basic resources such as water and electricity. They avoid the poaching, trade or consumption of illegal or endangered species. Communities develop conservation plans that mitigate tourism’s impacts to natural areas and wildlife. Finally, most Pearls of Uganada communities directly support local environmental
protection through contributions of their time or money.
Using tourism as a tool to combat poverty and create jobs for local communities is an important aspect of sustainability. Pearls communities hire local staff from their own or nearby communities, including managerial roles. Members attempt to locally source products, such as food and handicrafts. Members are also asked to support gender equality and avoid child labor. Cultural awareness helps to mitigate tourism’s impact to living culture as well as heritage sites. Finally, many Pearls communities directly support social and community initiatives including education, sanitation, and healthcare.
Pearls communities are also assessed and encouraged to improve their overall management practices. These criteria include the amount of staff training provided, their practice of soliciting customer feedback to ensure client satisfaction, the accuracy of promotional materials, and finally the degree to which the member provides interpretive information to visitors of natural surroundings and cultural heritage.
Because of the steps that Pearls of Uganda communities take to ensure the sustainability of their tourism products, your visit will not only be comfortable and exciting…it will also contribute to supporting social and environmental causes in Uganda.
So book a tour…and feel good!
For more information about sustainable tourism visit:
Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria http://www.gstcouncil.org/: The criteria helps the travel industry support poverty alleviation and environmental protection and were established by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, United National Environmental Programme, Rainforest Alliance, and the United Nations Foundation along with the industry’s top companies.
USAID-STAR www.star-uganda.org: The USAID-STAR (Sustainable Tourism in the Albertine Rift) Program is supported by USAID-Uganda and implemented by the Global Sustainable Tourism Alliance (GSTA). This program seeks to reduce threats to biodiversity by addressing constraints in the tourism sector, reducing limitations for local entrepreneurs in developing tourism businesses, enhancing marketing efforts, and improving linkages between local, national, and global value chains.