Kind Traveler is a new site that lets travelers donate to charity and receive exclusive discounts to luxury hotels.
Way back in 2011, we covered a platform that organizes trekking tours in Southeast Asia, donating a percentage of their revenue to support female entrepreneurs. Now, sustainable travel is available to the less adventurous: Kind Traveler enables luxury holidaymakers to donate money to charity in exchange for exclusive deals with sustainable hotels.
The enterprise works in partnership with a number of ‘Kind Hotels’, whose sustainability initiatives are displayed on the Kind Traveler site. Customers select a destination and choose from the 10 cause areas — disaster relief, animal welfare and environment among others. The platform then enables users to donate to any of their charity partners from a selected list of either local or global charities. Under animal welfare, for example, holidaymakers can choose the local charity, Pacific Marine Mammal Centre, or a global one such as Wildaid. In exchange for a donation, customers are offered exclusive rates — a donation of USD 10 can result in discounts as high as 20 percent. Those booking can choose from a growing list of locations, among them New York, Miami, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Luxury resorts can often stand in high contrast with the country’s overall economic situation, and tourism often doesn’t contribute to national economic growth. When tourists are aware of this contrast, it can make for an uneasy experience. Kind Traveler’s ‘give and get’ model proposes to solve this problem. As Jessica Blotter, CEO and Co-founder explains, the idea for the enterprise began when on holiday in Belize — finding it difficult to get excited about visiting the Mayan ruins while ignoring the surrounding devastation, they made a decision to help.
According to a recent study, one of the main barriers to the growth of sustainable travel is visibility. Are there more innovations that could help raise the profile of sustainable tourism?