Because responsible travel isn’t just about the natural environment, the ASTW has a strong culture of giving back to the communities and countries that have supported us by hosting us when we travel.
Every year, the ASTW committee makes a donation to a charity in the country that has hosted our annual AGM and conference. Past donations have included Rotorua Literacy Project, New Zealand; Foundation for the Blind, Thailand; KOTO in Ho Chi Ming City, Vietnam, Mianyang No. 5 Primary School, Sichuan Province, China; HwayK’Loke School, Thailand, the RMKS Primary School in Fiji, the Mutitjulu Foundation at Uluru, and in 2016, we donated money to Tinmugs, a charity founded by one woman to help hundreds of children in desperate need in the community of Overcome, near Cape Town.
Many ASTW members also contribute as individuals to countries and communities that have affected them on their travels, for example by volunteering in orphanages, working on conservation projects or in animal rescue, donating to local charities and campaigns, sponsoring children or community projects and organising fund-raising events such as photo exhibitions.
As writers, we can encourage and inspire readers to travel more responsibly. ASTW PR members also play a vital role in informing the public, and travel industry colleagues, about sustainability measures being introduced by their clients and organisations.
The ASTW encourages its members to continue to support conservation initiatives and to contribute to the wellbeing of the people in communities we visit, including those in Australia.