25 Nov 2020
COVID-19: In Transit
In February 2020, we published a story about Batu Batu, a resort in Malaysia with a heart for marine conservation. Little did we know that holidays were about to become pipe dreams, as COVID-19 unleashed its full weight on the world.
With travel off the cards, and a pandemic to fight, we at Our Better World put stories about travel in the backseat while stories about COVID-19 relief came to the forefront, as seen in our HumanKind series.
Nine months on, the pandemic in many parts of the world has not abated, depriving communities reliant on international tourism of their means to survive. The United Nations estimates that the tourism industry faces US$1 trillion in losses due to COVID-19, and some 100 million jobs are at risk.
The Better Traveller has always featured people and organisations that do good for their communities and the environment, while delighting travellers. Now, despite their hardships, these organisations remain resilient and true to their mission, and are finding new ways to carry on. And these are the stories we want to share over the next few months, so that you too, can make a difference by supporting their efforts.
For example, instead of hiking through the Himalayas with a locally-owned trekking enterprise, you can now buy carbon credits to support their reforestation programme, which generates income and does the environment good. Instead of unwinding in a home stay with hill tribes in northern Thailand, you can order meals in Bangkok cooked with ingredients harvested by the same tribes, creating income for them.
Through our stories, take a different kind of “trip” with us: discover how those in the travel for good space are finding new ways to support communities. And don’t forget to bookmark them for future trips. When borders reopen, we can all be better travellers.
Sewing stories of resilience at Mekong Quilts
Love the crafts of Mekong Quilts? Meet the women from the Mekong Delta who create them while building a better life for their families
A dreamy getaway in the Philippines with dreams of inclusion
Nestled amid tall pines and lingering sea breezes, Zambawood is a holiday retreat with a mission to empower people of all abilities.
A mountain getaway protecting a refuge for red pandas
Travel to the border between India and Nepal to take in the breathtaking Himalayas — and see if you can spot a certain red-haired resident on the way.
A Himalayan homestay that’s an Ark for rural empowerment
Savour the joys of slow living with a community-led tourism initiative that preserves rural values amid urban demands.
Seeking nature? Let the Orang Asli be your guide
Connect with Malaysia’s indigenous cultures through Native and their Orang Asli guides
Preserving palaces — and livelihoods — in a pandemic
Terrapuri’s restored palaces takes you back in time while breathing new life into a sleepy seaside town
Feed Bali cooks up hope amid COVID-19
A cooking school in Bali shut their doors when the pandemic started. But a new mission has them fired up: feeding Balinese in need
An ikat collective weaves its way through knotty times
COVID-19 has cast a pall over the tapestry of empowerment woven by Watubo, but the collective is steadfast in its vision of ikat that lifts lives
Rural adventures go virtual in a lockdown
From running a virtual tour to launching an online store, two rural communities in Indonesia find new ways to cope when tourism income dried up amid COVID-19