Trafalgar believes that responsible tourism and travel should leave a positive impact on the people and communities we visit. That’s why we include our unique Make Travel Matter (MTM) Experiences on our trips. We carefully choose these responsible travel experiences to encourage the greatest community or environmental benefit. They’re endorsed by industry experts, directly tied to the UN Global Goals, and are developed only for Trafalgar and our related brands.
As part of Goal 9 of our How We Tread Right strategy – including at least one MTM Experience on 50% of itineraries by 2024 – you’ll see even more responsible travel tours from Trafalgar very soon. To help inspire your next responsible travel trip, here are 9 of our most enriching MTM Experiences.
1. Support the Shangilia Home for Kenyan children
Your visit to the Shangilia Children’s Home will Make Travel Matter by supporting the centre’s efforts to transform the children’s lives. Located in Kenya’s Vihiga County, the centre supports around 60 children who have been orphaned, abandoned, neglected or abused. The home provides a loving and stable environment for the children where they feel they belong.
They also provide their basic needs like housing, food, clothing, education and emotional and financial support, and your visit will help the centre continue their incredible work. During your visit, you’ll have the chance to meet the older children as they practice their music, dance and acrobatics, and get an insight into how the home is changing the lives of these children.
GET INSPIRED BY: African Safari Adventure
2. Visit the Turtle Conservancy in Tortuguero National Park
If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, you’ll love this experience at the Turtle Conservancy in Tortuguero National Park. The foundation protects the endangered sea turtles in Tortuguero, the most important nesting site for the endangered green turtle in the western hemisphere. You’ll meet a Local Specialist from the foundation and learn how the foundation works with local communities to reduce poaching and encourage protection of the turtles, which came close to extinction in the 1960s.
Over 60 years later, they are now the world’s oldest sea turtle protection organisation. Your responsible travel experience will Make Travel Matter by helping them continue their invaluable research, education and conservation work.
GET INSPIRED BY: Monkeys, Jungles and Volcanoes
3. Discover the hand-weaving traditions at Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti
Established in 1921, this amazing weaving school has taught four generations of young girls the ancient tradition of frame hand-weaving. Incredibly, they use the same methods used in the Middle Ages and original antique looms. You’ll find stunning hand-woven pieces like tablecloths, pillow covers and bed linen. You’ll even get to enjoy a private demonstration of this historic art form at the workshop in Perugia, Italy.
RELATED CONTENT: Meet Marta Cucchia, the woman keeping one of Italy’s most ancient crafts alive
The TreadRight Heritage Initiative grants program supports Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti. The school uses these funds to provide education on the weaving tradition and a stable income for the community-based cooperative. Since Trafalgar has been taking guests here, the number of guests has tripled. Your visit will Make Travel Matter by helping to preserve one of Italy’s last remaining traditional wooden frame hand-weaving workshops.
GET INSPIRED BY: Italy Bellissimo
4. Help sustain Thanh Dong Organic Village
Get in touch with your green thumb at the beautiful Thanh Dong Organic Village in Hoi An. As one of the first organic agricultural villages in Hoi An, this small farming community is doing big things. Along with providing certified organic vegetables to the area, the village also teaches people about organic farming and Vietnamese cuisine, and promotes sustainable agriculture in Vietnam.
This green travel experience will Make Travel Matter by helping the community to maintain their livelihood and organic farming practices. You’ll get to Dive into Culture as you meet the local farmers and learn about their working routines. After exploring the farm, you’ll relax with a soothing foot massage to top off a wonderful day in Hoi An.
GET INSPIRED BY: Highlights of Vietnam
5. Help preserve the magical Giant’s Causeway
Northern Ireland is a spectacular piece of the Emerald Isle, filled with natural wonders like the mystical and UNESCO listed Giant’s Causeway. You’ll walk over the curious stepping stones and learn about their origins. The scientific evidence says the hexagonal basalt stone columns formed by volcanic lava millions of years ago. However local legend says a fight between two giants, Finn McCool and Benandonner created the Causeway.
RELATED CONTENT: How it was formed, and other fascinating Giant’s Causeway facts
Your visit will Make Travel Matter by contributing to the National Trust initiative which aims to preserve this geological wonder. Trafalgar joined forces with the National Trust and as a result of this funding, they’ve built a new sustainable Visitor Centre. They’ve also enhanced walkways around the site including a clifftop walk that’s accessible for families and people with disabilities, allowing everyone to explore this extraordinary landscape.
GET INSPIRED BY: Britain and Ireland Grandeur
6. Meet Stephen Yellowhawk and help to preserve Native American tradition and culture
Stephen Yellowhawk is a son of the Lakota and Iroquois Nations and a performer for over 20 years. He’s passionate about sharing his heritage through song and dance and you’ll get to witness this during a festive evening. You’ll listen to stirring music, hear traditional stories about his tribe, and enjoy a delicious dinner.
As you learn about the traditions and history of Stephen’s tribe in Rapid City, you’ll Make Travel Matter by helping to preserve these customs. This responsible travel experience will also support Stephen’s amazing work with Native American diabetic patients. On the same day, you’ll visit the nearby Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Your visit will also contribute to the preservation of Native American heritage here.
GET INSPIRED BY: Scenic Parks Explorer
7. Visit the Iraq al-Amir Women’s Centre
This small organisation in Amman is tackling the problem of high unemployment rates for women in Jordan. And they’re changing the lives of dozens of families in the process. The Iraq al-Amir Women’s Centre aims to financially empower local women by teaching them how to create foods and handicrafts. They also employ them to make and sell their products in the cooperative’s gift shop. More than 150 women from the area have learned invaluable skills and increased their standards of living, plus they’re keeping local traditions alive.
RELATED CONTENT: Meet The Women Of The Iraq Al-Amir Women’s Cooperative
Your visit will Make Travel Matter by contributing to the cooperative. You’ll meet the women and see how they make a range of handmade pottery, fabrics, food, soaps and paper products. You’ll even get to learn how to make your own handicrafts and enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by the women.
GET INSPIRED BY: Best of Israel and Jordan
8. Explore Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
We’ll take you on a soul-stirring journey to Australia’s Red Centre where you’ll explore the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Your visit will Make Travel Matter by not only supporting a JoinTrafalgar initiative to protect this UNESCO-listed environment, but also preserve the traditions of the indigenous Mutitjulu community. During your visit, you’ll also stay at one of Trafalgar’s ‘Stays with Stories’, the Desert Gardens Hotel. Here you’ll enjoy stunning views of Uluru, the world’s largest rock monolith, and enjoy meals with native bush tucker flavours.
Witness the mesmerising sunrise over Uluru. Then get up close with a tour around the base and a guided walk to Mutitjulu Waterhole. Here you’ll marvel at the million-year-old Aboriginal rock paintings and learn about their meanings. You’ll also explore the giant red rock domes of Kata Tjuta, before settling in to watch another glorious sunset… All while sipping on sparkling wine.
GET INSPIRED BY: Outback Adventure
9. Support Peak Sneng village in Cambodia
If you’ve ever wondered what life was like in rural Cambodia, join us on our visit to Peak Sneng village. Located in a quiet area away from Siem Reap, you’ll meet the villagers and gain insight into their daily lives. You’ll see their local school, spend time chatting to the kids, and learn about their ancient traditional crafts.
You’ll also get to try some traditional skills out for yourself. Practice artistic Lotus flower folding or learn how to weave palm leaves into Cambodia’s national hats. It’s a truly enriching experience and these are beautiful mementos of your trip. Your visit will Make Travel Matter by helping to cover the cost of water filters and other essential items. You’ll also help to provide an income for the local artisans and their families.
GET INSPIRED BY: Vietnam and Cambodia Uncovered
What are your favourite responsible travel experiences with Trafalgar? Let us know in the comments below!