Go Barefoot [www.gobarefoot.org.uk], a new global sustainable tourism operator, launches today as an independent travel specialist offering authentic experiences that support sustainable development, environmental protection and the conservation of cultural heritage. Headquartered in London, UK, Go Barefoot works in partnership with governments, universities, NGOs, and community co-operatives, and actively searches for ambitious tourism projects that are driven by environmental and social values.
Go Barefoot offers a diverse portfolio of travel experiences and is pleased to have recently supported the development and promotion of the new 1000 Hills Trail, located in western Rwanda. The trail has been specifically developed to provide tourism enterprise opportunities to isolated communities along the shores of Lake Kivu. Along the trail, tourists can interact with local fishing villagers, visit tea plantations, and stay overnight at an orphanage. Tourists will learn of several social initiatives along the trail including those providing IT training, weaving, educational and music workshops, which Go Barefoot supports, in addition to a community led reforestation project in the Musanze region.
Go Barefoot is also proud to be offering another new incredible travel experience – the carnival magic that sweeps over Kolkata during the celebration that worships the ten-armed Hindu goddess Durga. Go Barefoot provides tourists with the unique opportunity to be involved with the festival’s preparations and celebrations, followed by an exploration of the world’s largest mangroves the Sunderbans where the elusive fish-eating tiger dwells.
Go Barefoot’s mission is to ensure that global travellers are both challenged and inspired whilst having a fun travel experience. Its focus is on both emerging and established destinations, providing diverse travel opportunities that have a positive contribution to the local economy and environment whilst providing a deeper and more rewarding experience of the destination's history and culture. Go Barefoot uses the business principles of tourism as a tool to achieve positive social and environmental change, whilst allowing communities to achieve self-managed sustainable growth. The 2012 UN Earth Summit and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) identified tourism as a key sector in the transition to achieving sustainable development and a greener economy: channeling investments for energy and water efficiency, climate-change mitigation, waste reduction, the conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage, plus, the strengthening of links with local cultures.
James Scipioni, Founder and Director of Go Barefoot, said: “At Go Barefoot our vision is clear and simple. We want to create sustainable tourism products that positively contribute to the local destination’s environment, economy and culture, whilst also benefiting everyone involved including local communities, businesses and tourists.
“We believe the type of tourism created by Go Barefoot is a key step towards a greener world economy and sustainable development. We express this ambition as ‘travel in a new direction’ and it underpins the values that we believe will set Go Barefoot apart.”
“As Go Barefoot launches today, we are absolutely delighted to announce our new partnerships with the 1000 Hills Trail in western Rwanda and the festival experiences of Kolkata. It is our core motivation to help tourists from around the world discover their own enriching travel experiences and we want to help create a world of positive tourism that benefits the entire global community.”
About Go Barefoot
Go Barefoot believes that travelling is much more than simply visiting a destination. We develop and promote sustainable tourism initiatives, working with communities that welcome others to share and understand their way of life. Go Barefoot’s locations offer unique journeys that make deeper connections with people, places and cultures: seeing, hearing, tasting, and doing things you might never have done otherwise. Go Barefoot selects well-located accommodation that embrace ecological or social values, have cultural significance and a unique charm, character and style.
Go Barefoot’s destinations and travel experiences are for everyone -ranging from families and honeymoon couples to global adventurers seeking a restful break or an activity-based holiday; in a rustic setting, community-based guesthouse, historical boutique hotel, or a luxury eco-lodge. Go Barefot supports and guides its partners to provide safe, rewarding and diverse tourism activities. Go Barefoot, with its knowledge and genuine relationship with its destinations, is able to design personalised and unique trips where requested.