TravelLocal – a company that takes advantage of the digital ecosystem to directly connect local independent travel agencies and experts around the world with the UK’s adventure and holiday addicts – is now supporting more local communities around the world than ever before in a new partnership with not-for-profit agency Kiva.
As part of its mission to connect travellers to local and authentic experiences, supporting the travel industries that need it most, its collaboration with Kiva will mean TravelLocal will contribute $25 to a Kiva loan for someone that needs it for every booking made.
“At no cost to you, you can help a local entrepreneur in Jaipur or Cochin or Calcutta”
Kiva provides loans to those who truly need them, meaning that borrowers have the opportunity to start or grow a business, go to school, gain access to clean energy and much more. For some, it’s a matter of survival, for others it’s the fuel for a life-long ambition.
Huw Owen (pictured left), joint managing director at TravelLocal, tells us: “TravelLocal was set up to support local travel entrepreneurs around the world by giving them the tools to compete head-on with big international travel companies. Kiva’s ethos is very close to ours and deepens the connection between the traveller and their destination that we are trying to create. It felt like a perfect match really. Imagine it, you book your trip to, say, India. Then, at no cost to you, you can help a local entrepreneur in Jaipur or Cochin or Calcutta. I think that strikes a chord with many people.”
These are loans that have already enabled people like Clenda, a 26-year-old mother of two from Kenya, whose loan from Kiva meant she could purchase a new dairy cow and increase the output of her farm to pay for her children’s school fees and increase her family’s quality of life. Kiva loans have also helped people like Mukula, a former child bride, who used a loan to employ two skilled workers into her growing sari business.
“Spending money directly in locally-owned restaurants is an easy way to support the economy of your destination”
But if that’s not incentive enough to think about how booking local on your next holiday could support those in need, you could get even more stuck in – as Huw explains: “At its heart TravelLocal is all about that connection with your destination, through local experts.
“Many of these experts have causes of their own that you can get involved in. When you’re planning your trip on TravelLocal ask them about what contribution you can make. Another obvious way to get involved is to help us spread the word about buying locally when you travel. Spending money directly in locally owned restaurants, for example, is an easy way to support the economy of your destination, and you get that culinary experience you simply wouldn’t get elsewhere.”