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September 21, 2009

Local Benefit - Reaching and Empowering the Community, Part 1

World Savers

by Beata Santora

Should hotels and travel businesses be involved in local communities? And if they should, what are the most effective means of establishing genuinely sustainable programs? That is the question posed in the last panel of the day at the World Savers Congress.

All of our panelists agreed that without support and employment of the community, you cannot have a sustainable business in the long term. "We preserve the thing that makes the destination attractive to our guests...the community is an intrinsic part of our company," said Luis Bosoms of Grupo Plan. Going even further, Intrepid Travel's CEO Darrell Wade said "protecting the environment isn't just good business, it's our business."

Tensie Whelan, the president of Rainforence Alliance claimed "if you abuse population where you business is located, you won't survive. On the other hand, by engaging locals, it empowers them, improves lives."

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