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Responsible Travel in Malawi
Posted on: Thursday, May 27, 2010
Blog Category: 'Responsible Travel'

'Responsible Travel' is a big buzz phrase these days with all and sundry trying to jump on the band wagon and claim to be responsible for the marketing benefits it brings.  We're often asked if there is anyone practising responsible tourism in Malawi, but the operators in Malawi are generally bemused by this question. It's an absolute no-brainer to them - of course they are, always have been and always will be. They were doing it long before anyone came up with a term for it - it's just the way they've always been. The fact is that Malawi's lodges and safari operators didn't just spot a marketing opportunity and decide to badge themselves as responsible. No, the very reason they are running these business is from a love for Malawi and a strong desire to want to support local communities in Malawi, and conserve natural environments. You'd be hard pressed to find a lodge in Malawi that didn't have an active community support programme. And if they are based in a protected area (national park, wildlife reserve,  or forest reserve) then work preserving the environment around them is what takes up much of their time and effort.

Do these lodges have carefully drafted 'Responsible Tourism' policies? Most don't.

Do these lodges use 'Responsible Tourism' as a prominent, slick marketing tool and make it immediately obvious that's how they operate?  No.

Do these lodge support local communities and work hard to preserve the natural world around them? You bet!

Is this something they expect to be rewarded for, or to generate them more business? No, they do it because these are the very reasons they have chosen to set up in these locations.

For more information, we've a Responsible Travel section of the site and a Charities section. And keep your eyes on the News items and Blogs. Most of the news stories we get from the lodges in Malawi are about the success of their community projects - it's what they are most proud of.

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