Planeterra launched the Around the World Challenge, encouraging travel lovers to join the non-profit’s movement to support community tourism enterprises as travel reemerges post-COVID, all while celebrating the diversity and power of community tourism.
Participants will be taking on the challenge to collectively travel the globe by walking, running, or biking 24,909mi - the distance around the equator - while aiming to raise £28,375 (that works out to US$1 per kilometre). The challenge will take place over the course of ten days, between May 17-26, with emails and social media posts each day highlighting a new region. Highlights will include exclusive events and videos from community tourism enterprises in locations like India, Rwanda, and Bolivia, as well as unique cuisine, facts, and culture in more than a dozen destinations.
“Planeterra just launched the Global Community Tourism Network last week, having more than doubled our community partnerships since December and we now work with communities in over 65 countries,” says president of Planeterra, Jamie Sweeting. “We thought it was the perfect time to highlight these new community partners, and help Planeterra support them as they prepare to recover and the world prepares to travel again.”
The Global Community Tourism Network supports community tourism enterprises to achieve their unique social and environmental goals by breaking down barriers that exist in the tourism marketplace. It aims to increase capacity, quality and accessibility of community tourism enterprises all around the world by providing online training, peer-to-peer connection, marketing, and promotion.
“We also wanted to acknowledge the current situation in India,” explains Sweeting. “Planeterra has pledged to match the first £1,000 raised during the Around the World Challenge, to be allocated to operations and community partners in Delhi.”
The Around the World Challenge comes after overwhelming support for last year’s Planeterra Trek Challenge, which saw 550 individuals on 62 teams trek the distance to virtually climb Everest Base Camp. A survey of participants, with a strong representation of travel agents, asked Planeterra to put on another fitness challenge in the Spring.
“Agents are excited to get behind the Around the World Challenge,” explains Planeterra Board Member Zeina Gedeon. “I’m calling on agencies to sign up for this challenge so they can support, learn about, and embrace community tourism as we start to help our customers travel again.