Guiding Principle 1: See the whole picture. Recognize that most tourism by its nature involves the destination as a whole, not only industry businesses, but also its ecosystems, natural resources, cultural assets and traditions, communities, aesthetics, and built infrastructure.
How can already sustainable tourism businesses think big if there is no funding available to scale up? The recently launched $10 million Reset Tourism Fund aims to bridge this gap between the small, impactful tourism businesses representing the future of tourism and the necessary funding to elevate their business and impact to the next level. Following the difficulties faced by tourism businesses over the past few years, many had to either shut down or struggle to sustain operations. This new fund provides flexible capital empowering businesses to focus on their long-term growth instead of solely on the short-term.
UnTours Foundation is powering the fund, with initial financial support from Expedia Group and Tui Care Foundation – though more funding partners are needed to reach the $10 million goal. Industry partners also include Adventure Travel Trade Association, Flywire, and B Tourism. Tourism businesses can apply for loans between $10-100k in the form of loan interest loans, revenue-based financing or equity. They must already have climate resiliency, equity, or sustainability embedded into operations and are looked on favourably if they comply with the Future of Tourism Guiding Principles or B Corp standards. Loans look to see the impact above the return on investment. Go Park Safaris and Purple Elephant Ventures in Kenya and Playa Viva in Mexico have already benefitted from the financing.
The demand for the fund shows how much flexible capital small tourism businesses need and the limited opportunities available to access it. It is also helping the industry to better understand the investments entrepreneurs are looking into that they feel will help scale their businesses and make the most impact. Ultimately the Reset Tourism Fund hopes to show that impact and return on investment go hand in hand, leading to systemic change as markets start taking sustainable tourism more seriously as an investment opportunity.
Learn more here.
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