GOOD Travel empowers travellers to have a positive social, economic and environmental impact on the places they visit. Their vision is to transform the tourism industry into a force for GOOD.
GOOD Travel was co-founded by four women from four different continents, who believed that the tourism industry had the potential to reduce poverty and inequalities, empower communities, inspire the protection of local cultures and environments, and promote cross-cultural understanding. They are now working towards making sustainable travel the norm; to transform the travel industry into a force for good. GOOD Travel was incorporated in New Zealand in 2013, but it was first a hobby/lifestyle organisation for the co-founders. Through sheer hard work, they have transformed GOOD Travel into a financially viable social enterprise. The GOOD Travel team currently consists of their four co-founders, two paid employees and a global team of advisers and volunteers.
What problem are they trying to solve?
A recent Booking.com report concluded that while 46% of global travellers consider themselves a sustainable traveller, only 5% of travellers believe it is easy to travel sustainably. These statistics suggest that while tourists are increasingly seeking to travel in a way that has a positive social, economic and environmental impact, the majority of travellers do not have the time, motivation, knowledge or tools to access sustainable and ethical travel experiences. GOOD Travel is working to solve this problem. They focus on advocacy activities which target travellers. GOOD Travel offers group trips, which educate travellers and bring them to GOOD tourism businesses. These range from carbon-neutral lodges protecting wildlife in the Amazon jungle to micro-finance tours supporting entrepreneurs in Tanzania.
What impact is GOOD Travel making?
A snapshot of the impact GOOD Travel has achieved in the past year includes shifts in traveller behaviour, positive community development and global tourism reform.
In the past year, GOOD Travel has directly donated over NZ$9,000 to support sustainable development initiatives, including a water tower project in Zanzibar and a youth empowerment programme in South Africa. They took 19 travellers to Tanzania enabling travellers to support social enterprises in Tanzania, including Investours which uses tourism to empower micro‐entrepreneurs in Dar es Salaam. This trip also funded the construction of a water tower in Kizimkazi village, Zanzibar.
Their input on best practice in the voluntourism sector has been used to shape the development of a guidebook for voluntourism in the Asia Pacific region.
GOOD Travel were also invited to be part of the review process for new global guidelines being developed to protect child welfare in tourism. The guidelines will provide a common understanding of child welfare issues throughout the travel industry and minimum standards that any tourism business should aspire to reach. GOOD Travel provided an industry perspective and advised the working group on how to ensure the greatest possible uptake of the guidelines among tourism businesses.
GOOD Travel measures their impact in the following ways:
- Dollars donated to local non-profit organisations: For each trip, a minimum of $100 per person is donated to a local non-profit organisation. They keep track of the amount donated and what is achieved with these donations.
- Dollars invested in GOOD business: Starting this financial year, they measure how much of GOOD Travel’s income is spent at tourism businesses that are proactively working to have a positive social, economic and environmental impact.
- Changes in traveller behaviour: GOOD Travel has adjusted their trip evaluation forms to include questions that measure changes in traveller attitudes and behaviours as a result of their trips.
For more information about GOOD Travel’s impact, including a comprehensive report on the impact made in 2017, please download their 2017 Impact Report.
What is GOOD Travel’s business model?
The majority of GOOD Travel’s income comes from their group trips, where participants pay a fee to join a trip designed to ensure that a positive impact is made on the places they visit. Trips are typically organised in partnership with a company, non-profit organisation or individual who is responsible for recruiting the trip participants. Additional sources of income include, GOOD Travel Community membership fees, consulting/contracting work, referral fees and commissions and events.
Where to from here?
GOOD Travel’s key goals for the next year include:
- Developing more themed trips with a key focus on conservation advocacy.
- Growing the GOOD Travel Community and mailing list to increase the reach of their advocacy work.
- Hosting their first tourism conference in Bangkok in partnership with other sustainable tourism organisations
- Securing a grant to enable them to carry out research in partnership with the University of Otago. The grant will allow them to look into best practice when influencing visitor behaviour.
- Expanding their work in New Zealand by further strengthening their relationship with Tourism Industry Aotearoa in support of their Tourism Sustainability Commitment work.
Eliza Raymond, Shelley Bragg, Heidy Aspilcueta & Caitie Goddard
Date of Creation
Number of Employees
Limited Liability Company
Community and Regional Development
Protecting the Environment
Children and young people
People in developing countries