How Has COVID-19 Impacted Sustainable Travel?

How Has COVID-19 Impacted Sustainable Travel?

I recently interviewed the founders of nine independent travel companies around the world – both tour operators and trip planners. In this post they generously share what impact COVID-19 has had on their businesses, customers and local partners, and what their thoughts are on the future of sustainable travel.

When I flew back from Los Angeles on March 9, I didn’t know that was the last flight that I’d likely take for the rest of 2020. Domestic U.S. and international travel largely came to a screeching halt a few days later as the COVID-19 pandemic raged around the globe. With the majority of the world’s citizens sheltering in place to some degree in the weeks since then, the travel industry has suffered dramatic losses. In the U.S. alone more than half of travel-related jobs have disappeared, representing 38% of all jobs*. 

While road trips and regional jaunts seem to be a possibility for travelers in the coming months as countries begin taking cautious steps toward “opening up,” there are still many unanswered questions surrounding the safety and practicality of international travel. The U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that international tourist arrivals will decline between 60% and 80% in 2020, compared to 2019 numbers – which will undoubtedly continue to devastate the numerous villages, towns, cities, and countries that are largely dependent on foreign tourist dollars to keep their economies’ afloat. 

Given the tremendous amount of uncertainty the travel industry is facing, I reached out to nine travel company founders to learn what impact COVID-19 has had on their businesses, how they’ve responded, and what they think the future holds for travel – particularly sustainable travel, which by definition, has a more positive impact on a destination’s environment, community and economy.

*according to data released on May 19 by the U.S. Travel Association.

tourists work in a garden in the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic (Photo credit: Purposeful Nomad)

The Impact of COVID-19 on Travel Companies

Emma Durkin, founder of Where the Wild Is, in Norway
Emma in Norway (Photo credit: Niels van Gijn @silverless)

Emma Durkin, Where The Wild Is

1) How has your company responded to COVID-19 travel restrictions over the past two months?

As things developed and it was looking highly likely that travel would not be permitted, we made sure our customers were aware that we would rebook a future date at no charge to them, or if they wanted/needed a full refund – no problem. We just wanted customers to feel comfortable and have complete trust in us. This ethos would be true in any situation – e.g. a natural disaster, sudden illness, a global pandemic – if customers do not feel comfortable and want to move their travel date, or if they can no longer afford the trip due to circumstances outside of their control, then we find the best solution for them. We are a small operator, and have only been in business for 18 months, so brand reputation is everything.

People really care about doing the right thing more than ever before.

2) What’s the outlook for your company for the remainder of 2020?

We are preparing for a best- and worst-case scenario. The worst is no bookings at all taken in 2020–so focus and attention goes into other areas of the business to prepare for 2021. We are working on SEO, content creation, launching the blog, keeping in touch on social media, and we are bringing forward plans to launch Scotland as a destination in the product portfolio. We also are creating more summer product offerings for summer 2021 in the hope that people may book trips early in 2021 or possibly at the end of 2020 for the following summer.

Best-case scenario is that travel reopens again by September, and people feel confident enough to travel. We would then hope to see a handful of bookings for those wanting to go and see the Northern Lights this coming winter season.

Northern Lights in Norway (Photo credit: Niels van Gijn @silverless)

3) What do you think the post COVID-19 travel landscape will look like?

I think people will be excited to travel again and will want to fulfill their bucket-list desires, but I also think customers will be cautious with who they book with. I feel that some of the larger, previously trusted travel brands may have a damaged reputation from how they have handled communication throughout this time.

People really care about doing the right thing more than ever before – I’m looking at how to offer customers the chance to offset the carbon emission from their flights by donating to Gold Standard. We also work with highly sustainable properties – like Icehotel – and want to promote these places more and the good way in which they operate.

4) Anything else you’d like to share?

We’re looking at developing a campaign along the lines of “remember when we were stuck inside, now let’s get stuck outside” and promoting more sustainable activities – snowshoeing, cross country skiing for winter and hiking, kayaking, and electric bike adventures for summer – summer 2021 will hopefully be a huge contrast to this summer. 

couple walking on a beach in Caraíva, Brazil
Caraíva, Brazil (Photo credit: Viare)

Polyana de Oliveira, Viare

1) How has your company responded to COVID-19 travel restrictions over the past two months?

March hit us like a ton of bricks! We’d just had our best month ever in February, and then some of our clients in the UK started calling asking about our postponement and cancellation policies. We hadn’t had any known cases in Brazil at that point. Eventually the virus hit us, and everyone caught up, but the first couple of weeks were tough, and quite frankly – paralyzing.  

But then we proactively drew up a new cancellation/postponement policy, have committed to taking on price differences if clients postpone through next year (except for a few black out dates), and created some “stay at home content” to keep interested travellers engaged. My biggest concern, though, has been our local providers, and my team! I held on as much as I could, but had to cut my team’s hours by 80% (without letting anyone go). For some providers, I’ve paid them upfront for trips that have been postponed, as an attempt to help them make ends meet. We’re a small agency, though, and can’t afford to help everyone. 

…We’re not expecting a higher volume of travel, but certainly a higher quality of traveler.

2) What’s the outlook for your company for the remainder of 2020?

Right now we’re working on keeping followers and clients engaged through email and social media, and doing our best to get clients to postpone instead of cancel trips. Other than that, we’re working on housekeeping – so updating the website, actually planning social media posts and newsletters, updating our provider database and pricing, and doing a bit more curating. We’re also considering marketing to a more local audience, since this seems to be what everyone in the travel industry is foreseeing. 

We also just launched a campaign to raise money and write a book! The book will be a tribute to Brazilian culinary traditions and the people who make these experiences happen for travelers. It will feature stories of the people who contributed with recipes, the recipes themselves (adapted for international kitchens), and overall teachings on Brazil’s regional cultures and ingredients. 

Eat Rio Food Tours in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
enjoying a tour by Eat Rio Food Tours (Photo credit: Viare)

3) What do you think the post COVID-19 travel landscape will look like?

As I mentioned above, we think immediately travel will look more local. And although we specialize in welcoming clients from abroad, we’re hoping this will be the case, since so many Brazilians who have the means usually choose to travel abroad. It will be refreshing to see more Brazilians learn about and explore their own backyards, so to speak. 

I am also hoping that more people will spend more time in destinations – making future travel more sustainable overall. Instead of hopping from one place to the other, I think taking at least a full week to explore one particular region or state (when visiting a large country like Brazil), will allow travelers to truly get to know the destinations and people they are visiting. If we learn to travel slower, we won’t be hopping on several flights – we’ll be able to drive or bike, or even trek through a particular region. This will also permit us to keep our carbon footprint down, as well as contribute more to the communities that have lost quite a bit with the pandemic.

4) Anything else you’d like to share?

I like to say I am a true “Pollyanna” – I am really optimistic about travel returning, better than before, with people more conscious of where they spend their travel dollars. For 2021, we’re not expecting a higher volume of travel, but certainly a higher quality of traveler. By that I mean, travelers who are going to be genuinely interested in discovering Brazil’s more remote regions, learning more about our customs and people. 

Also, please support our book! It’s going to be beautiful, and will make for an excellent holiday gift! 

Ian Ord, Where Sidewalks End, Borneo, Malaysia sunset
Ian in Borneo, Malaysia (Photo credit: Where Sidewalks End)

Ian Ord, Where Sidewalks End

1) How has your company responded to COVID-19 travel restrictions over the past two months?

A small, boutique company as ourselves has limited options for riding out this storm. Unfortunately given the intimate person-to-person nature of many of our experiences, such as getting a tattoo from a shaman in Thailand, virtual tours just won’t work. 

We’ve started using this time to rework many of our existing tours, refining them down and rethinking any aspects which can lead to a great positive impact, in addition to working with all of our tour guides to get ideas on their “dream tours” that they’d love to lead. This is putting the power back into the people who make our tours possible, as well as allowing greater room for passion and pride in what they do every day! Though we can’t be certain of when they’ll be able to lead them again, at least it’s working towards building a better future for them and all the locals we will one day be able to interact with again. 

In the interim, we are also developing a cookbook, with each of our guides submitting their favourite home-cooked recipe. We’re excited to see what they come up with, as some of these secret recipes we’re sure even the most experienced travellers will never have tried before! The digital cookbook will be sold online on a “give what you feel” basis, with 100% of the proceeds being divided up back to the guides. 

2) What’s the outlook for your company for the remainder of 2020?

Unfortunately, 2020 feels like it will be a washout for the most part. There is too much uncertainty at the moment, and every solution that arises is still only a hypothetical. We’re hopeful there’s at least a few solutions and safety measures in place allowing guests back into the country by October, the start of the high-tourist season, though we don’t expect numbers to even be a fraction of what they were for the same time in 2019. 

Where the Sidewalk Ends group with Bangkok, Thailand shaman
group with a Bangkok shaman (Photo credit: Where Sidewalks End)

3) What do you think the post COVID-19 travel landscape will look like?

It is highly unlikely that people, regardless of their desire to get out and travel again, will feel comfortable in crowded areas such as flights, buses, or other contained areas, including destinations which in the past have suffered over-tourism. This does, however, lead to the possibility of many opportunities in the sustainable travel space. If guests are looking for more one-on-one experiences with locals, rather than big tourist shows or attractions, this starts spreading the tourism dollars further and directly into the hands of the locals. It also opens up the opportunity for new destinations – decentralizing tourism from the once-busy hubs, and into smaller communities, and for community-based tourism projects to grow and flourish. 

With regards to Where Sidewalks End, fortunately we have mostly only offered private experiences, and feel that this is a selling point for us in the post-COVID landscape – you have the security of only being with those you are travelling with, and your guide. I feel like a lot more private tours will start showing up on the market, even if at a slightly higher cost, it will add that level of security and safety.

4) Anything else you’d like to share?

This statement is not original, and it is already echoing through the travel industry, but it’s very important to share: 

Do try to postpone any travel plans you may already have if conditions are preventing you from going, rather than cancelling outright and demanding refunds. Postponing assures not only yourself that you’ll be able to travel again and have a holiday already on reserve, but it also helps give hope for those around the world who have built their lives to give you the vacation of your dreams, and who depend on your visits. 

Teri Potts of TL Travel in Thailand
Thailand (Photo credit: TL Travel)

Teri Potts, TL Travel

1) How has your company responded to COVID-19 travel restrictions over the past two months?

Certainly in the beginning phases of COVID-19 we had an idea that international travel for the 2020 season would be coming to an early end, but for how long we would be affected remained, and still remains to some degree, up in the air. While our travelers are unable to travel (for now), we all have the benefit of knowing that the borders will open again eventually, and working one-on-one with our hotel partners abroad means that we have been able to guarantee that their trips will be waiting for them whenever they are ready. In the meantime, we have been posting virtual tours and other travel inspiration on our social media pages in order to stay connected and stay inspired.

I do hope and believe that travelers post COVID-19 will have a greater respect for the planet and for our ability to explore in a more sustainable way.

2) What’s the outlook for your company for the remainder of 2020?

Unfortunately we do not anticipate booking international travel for the remainder of 2020, and this may be the case until a vaccine has been approved and distributed. With that said, TL Travel is offering a discount on our consultation services allowing clients to plan & prepare for future trips without having to commit to travel dates or other related bookings.

boat in blue water in Thailand
Thailand (Photo credit: TL Travel)

3) What do you think the post COVID-19 travel landscape will look like?

It is difficult to anticipate exactly what the post COVID-19 travel landscape will look like without knowing how long this will last. That said, I do hope and believe that travelers post COVID-19 will have a greater respect for the planet and for our ability to explore in a more sustainable way. We have all seen the reports of the world healing and the wildlife thriving while we are all trapped indoors, and it would be a shame to see a large regression after the borders open up again. 

From a business standpoint, I also anticipate sustainable travel experiences and accommodations finding their way through these restrictions more successfully than less self-sustaining companies that rely more heavily on tourism to stay afloat.

4) Anything else you’d like to share?

As the owner of a small travel business, I am looking forward to traveling again just as much as, if not more, than anyone else. With that said, I would like to encourage everyone to proceed with caution when making travel commitments for the future. 

As restrictions loosen, consider traveling locally & giving back to the economy at home before hopping on a flight overseas. Consider not only the potential of COVID0-19 remaining present in your own country, but in the countries that you are planning to visit or stop in along the way. For many of us it is our human instinct to move and explore, but if we resume our travels too soon, we may inevitably find ourselves without travel for a great deal longer.

GOOD Travel group photo
Photo credit: Baron Wright

Eliza Raymond, GOOD Travel

1) How has your company responded to COVID-19 travel restrictions over the past two months?

We have postponed all upcoming trips and stopped promoting new trips until we have a clearer idea of when it will be safe and responsible to travel again. We are using this time as an opportunity to:

  • Grow and inspire our community of GOOD travellers
  • Support our GOOD partners around the world
  • Expand our understanding of what GOOD tourism really means
  • Strengthen GOOD Travel’s brand as a leading sustainable travel operator

We are doing this through several initiatives including our #VirtualTravel campaign. We are also donating each week to one of our local partners and asking our travellers to do the same if they can. In addition, we are conducting a New Zealand tourism research project – we are in the process of becoming Travelife certified and have joined the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment. 

2) What’s the outlook for your company for the remainder of 2020?

We anticipate at least a 80% reduction in our income compared to last year as we primarily rely on the sale of international trips to fund our salaries and operational expenses. Fortunately, we are a small team and we have always all worked remotely, so we have been able to minimise our operational costs and focus on the goals outlined in (1) above as well as developing our focus on domestic tourism.

Sharing sewing techniques with InvesTours entrepreneurs on a GOOD _ Well Retreat to Tanzania
sharing sewing techniques with InvesTours entrepreneurs on a GOOD _ Well Retreat to Tanzania (Photo credit: GOOD Travel)

3) What do you think the post COVID-19 travel landscape will look like?

There are lots of predictions emerging around this as well as encouraging initiatives e.g. Resilient Destinations. From my own personal experiences with GOOD Travel, here are a few thoughts around how I hope the travel landscape might change for the better:

  • Increased collaboration: The past two months have demonstrated to us more strongly than ever the power and importance of collaboration in the tourism sector and beyond. We are hopeful that the sense of collaboration and global community that we have all been experiencing will have a positive influence long-term on the tourism industry.
  • Increased listening: At GOOD Travel, we believe that the first step to developing GOOD trips is taking time to listen to people in the destinations we want to visit. What do they want us to do when we visit? What do they not want? 
  • Increased demand for transformative travel experiences: Creating opportunities for connection and cross-cultural understanding is central to all GOOD Travel trips, and we are hopeful that there will be greater demand for these kinds of experiences in the future as people seek to reconnect with what is most important in their lives.
  • Increased innovation: All tourism businesses are being forced to innovate and do things they’ve never done before. I am hopeful that this sense of innovation will carry forward into greater creativity in terms of how tourism businesses operate in the future.
  • Growth of staycations and domestic tourism: At GOOD Travel, we have always been advocates of staycations as an opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint and give back to your own community, and we now see great opportunity to inspire people to gain the benefits of travel – connection, new perspectives, etc. – without leaving their city, region or country.  

My greatest fear is that things do just return to how they were pre COVID-19.

4) Anything else you’d like to share?

My greatest fear is that things do just return to how they were pre COVID-19. Tourism businesses that survive the coming months will be under a lot of financial pressure to recover quickly once people can travel again. I believe that the key is therefore how we use the time we have right now. For those of us in the tourism sector who are fortunate enough to still have a job, we need to use this time strategically, and we need to step up and accept a sense of responsibility for each doing our part to reshape the tourism industry into a force for GOOD. 

Photo credit: Impulse Travel

Rodrigo Atuesta, Impulse Travel

1) How has your company responded to COVID-19 travel restrictions over the past two months?

When the crisis hit it was all uncertainty. It felt as if we were caught in the middle of a storm with no visibility, and all the instruments we had to navigate had been broken. Our first approach was to be transparent with the team and show everyone a clear picture of the finances. The whole team agreed to lower the salaries to the minimum wage. Then, we established a new goal which is to “evolve as an organization, taking care of the people we care about and to come out to the other side of the crisis strengthened.” In this whole process, our purpose has been a guiding light and has remained untouched. It has been very important because it is a great source of motivation and inspiration for a team that is working with a fraction of the salary we used to have, and gives us a clear direction for our actions in the middle of all the turmoil.  

Travelers will be more thoughtful about their travel decisions and very likely change their consumer behaviour.

2) What’s the outlook for your company for the remainder of 2020?

We are budgeting for not having any income from our core business, which is to operate private and small group experiences in Colombia. We assume demand will not be there in 2020. We are aiming at working with international development agencies to implement programs that will strengthen community-based tour providers and get them ready for when demand starts picking up again. We are also applying to multiple grants that will allow us to continue working together with our local partners (community enterprises) to keep their operations running and despite the halt in tourism demand. Finally, we are working together with Tourism Cares to raise $30,000 through a crowdfunding initiative. With these funds, we will be able to give some grants to the community enterprises we work with. They will access the grants by joining some training sessions we are preparing to help them adapt to the post-COVID world. 

rafting in a Colombia gorge
Photo credit: Impulse Travel

3) What do you think the post COVID-19 travel landscape will look like?

I believe travel will scale down significantly, which is an opportunity to change the way we were scaling the travel industry – it was quite unsustainable. The market will see a lot of consolidation, and a lot of companies will be wiped out. Travelers will be more thoughtful about their travel decisions and very likely change their consumer behaviour. Destinations and attractions that generate trust in their bio safety will have a clear advantage, and the market will respond to that. If there is a vaccine, chips will shuffle significantly, once again.

As for sustainable travel, I believe that it is a great opportunity for travel leaders to make more conscious decisions about the idea of growth and scalability of our businesses. Sustainability will not necessarily be praised by the consumers in the short term – people will want affordable and biosecure. However, the huge downscale of the travel trade and the fact that many companies will disappear creates a unique opportunity window for governments and leaders of the travel industry to take actions about how we will scale the travel sector again.       

4) Anything else you’d like to share?

I’d like to take this chance to share an initiative we have launched with the goal of supporting the 15 different social enterprises we work with around Colombia – all of them are amazing grass-roots projects that have born out of community leaders who have changed the lives of many people through art, music, entrepreneurship, culture and gastronomy. We have been working with these projects, and connecting their economic engine to the tourism trade to increase their financial viability. With the COVID crisis, all of them are struggling. We set ourselves the goal of raising $30,000 to help these projects thrive through the crisis. If you want to know more about the specific projects and how your contribution will have a HUGE multiplier effect, please visit our campaign page.

Caitlin Murray, the founder of Purposeful Nomad, in a tent in Mongolia
Caitlin in Mongolia (Photo credit: Purposeful Nomad)

Caitlin Murray, Purposeful Nomad

Learn more about Purposeful Nomad in Caitlin Murray: How Purposeful Nomad Empowers Women.

1) How has your company responded to COVID-19 travel restrictions over the past two months?

March 14 (I’ll never forget the day) was when tour operators completely pulled all their departures across the globe. Borders completely closed and flights were stopped. Up until then, I still had hope that maybe the rest of my spring trips would run. That day the floor just dropped completely for tourism and Purposeful Nomad. I was devastated. 

In the weeks that followed, I got the mental rest I desperately needed and was able to tackle what needed to be done. I have continued to be in touch with my global community via email and social media, even though there is no travel now. Many people have asked what I am doing to pivot my business or invent new offerings online, and in all honesty, the best thing for my business and me right now is just to take a breather and wait it out. I’m getting a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff done and throwing a lot of my energy into our trip lineup for 2021. In all of this I feel a great sense of renewal, which has allowed me to really connect with my passion for this business in a fresh way. 

I hope this opens up people’s minds into how incredibly amazing it is that we can travel about the world as freely as we have.

2) What’s the outlook for your company for the remainder of 2020?

Purposeful Nomad is hanging in there and will survive this! Our trips have been pulled up until September, so summer will be quieter than usual. We are counting on being able to travel in the fall at this point and have three trips running in September and October. Of course even that is a big “wait and see.” My mindset right now is to detach myself from making too many plans and having too many expectations for 2020 and really just take it month by month. I do believe that lots of people will be aching to get out and travel, and I plan to be there to greet them at the door when they can. I too am restless and sad that so many of my travel plans have been cancelled and relish in all the great trips I plan to take next year. 

a tourist cooks with a local woman on a Purposeful Nomad trip in Guatemala
Guatemala (Photo credit: Purposeful Nomad)

3) What do you think the post COVID-19 travel landscape will look like?

Great question. I don’t think it will be business as usual. I can only hope that this will change the landscape of travel for the better. I do think there will be some residual fear for quite some time, but that will allow us to slowly start getting back out there and not overwhelm the world again. I hope this opens up people’s minds into how incredibly amazing it is that we can travel about the world as freely as we have. I hope travelers have a renewed sense of gratitude and compassion for the places and people they see. Sustainable travel has only been on the rise in the past decade, and I think now more than ever travelers will be looking for these experiences.  

4) Anything else you’d like to share?

I’m staying as hopeful and positive as I can, but I must admit it’s scary owning a business in the travel industry right now because we really don’t know what is going to happen. There are so many unknowns and risks that could really work against us. I have found great strength in the support of others working in tourism and have looked up to a lot of individuals and companies that have been doing this for a lot longer than I have. Letting go of my need for control and surrendering myself to the fact I don’t have the answers – and I don’t need to have them right now – has been truly freeing. 

Also know what’s getting me through this?! Dreaming of future travel!! We have an incredible line up of 2021 trips! Your deposit today helps ensure the future of PN tomorrow!

ExplorEquity tour group
Photo credit: ExplorEquity

Remi Oguntoye and Catarina Rivera, ExplorEquity

1) How has your company responded to COVID-19 travel restrictions over the past two months?

We postponed our upcoming small group travel experiences to Honduras and Brazil until it’s safe to travel again. For now, we’ve decided to focus on hosting virtual events and community building. We’ve published a series on our blog about building community during COVID-19 and will be launching our first contest soon. We’re very mindful of the impact of COVID-19 on our partners, some of whom are facing a total loss of income, and we’re looking for new ways to support them and highlight their work. Our goal is to keep the conversation going about sustainable travel and social justice issues during this time.

…More travelers will be looking for sustainability practices in all providers.

2) What’s the outlook for your company for the remainder of 2020?

We have a positive outlook because we look beyond 2020, and we’re a small business where both co-founders have other income streams. We’re using this time to reimagine how we connect with our explorers and communities, locally and abroad. We believe in what we’re doing with ExplorEquity, and we look forward to the time when we can return to the locally owned businesses in Brazil and Honduras that we’ve come to love.

ExplorEquity tour group
Photo credit: ExplorEquity

3) What do you think the post COVID-19 travel landscape will look like?

Awareness of sustainable travel will increase, and more travelers will be looking for sustainability practices in all providers. Since COVID-19 will be with us for a while, we will see more marketing around public health preparedness and virus prevention measures as selling points of destinations. Travelers may restrict their international travel for the foreseeable future and may engage in slower travel. Community-based tourism will need to take measures to protect vulnerable communities while continuing to have the economic benefits of tourism.

Rebecca of Beyond the Bell tour company in Philadelphia, PA
Photo credit: Beyond the Bell

Rebecca, Beyond the Bell (Philadelphia, Pa.)

1) How has your company responded to COVID-19 travel restrictions over the past two months?

Like many companies all over the world, we have had the heart breaking experience of canceling all of our tours over the last two months, issuing thousands of dollars of refunds and seeing a 100% pause on new bookings through the summer, which is obviously the time of year most of us make our money. We have moved some of our offerings online, such as virtual field trips for local private schools and colleges, and trivia for birthday parties. Additionally, we are offering two weekly digital programming events to keep our audience engaged and stay connected: Herstory on the Rocks and Straight Facts and Queer Thots as a way to continue to put the people back into people’s history. 

Lastly, we have created a boxed experience so that our community – we are 100% queer-owned – has the opportunity to celebrate Pride this year despite festivities being cancelled. 

2) What’s the outlook for your company for the remainder of 2020?

We are focusing heavily on boxed experiences and hoping to launch a series to sustain us for the next 12 months. 

I believe in the power of a walking tour to shift the dialogue in American cities about who matters.

3) What do you think the post COVID-19 travel landscape will look like?

I don’t believe people will be booking trips anytime soon. Some experts are saying that regional travel will have a big comeback. Other people are saying people will be jumping out of their at home office chairs to travel in 2021, but I frankly just don’t see that happening with the health realities of the pandemic still around us.

We have created a 12-month plan that does not include tours – as a way to be prepared for the worst. Obviously, there is nothing I would love more than to be wrong and to be giving walking tours as soon as possible. Trust me, walking tours are my craft. I believe in the power of a walking tour to shift the dialogue in American cities about who matters. We built this company by telling stories about women, people of color, queer folks and indigenous peoples. Over the past two years we have seen our message resonate deeply enough to make us the number-one ranked tour on TripAdvisor for much of the year. Beyond the Bell Tours is the thing I am most proud of in my life, and Joey and I poured our hearts into it. But I also believe we need to be adapting to a changing world.

4) Anything else you’d like to share?

Check out our Pride offerings.

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Banner image: Purposeful Nomad in Ecuador


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