Step Up Travel has just launched a unique, social network for responsible travelers that is coupled with a free travel classifieds designed for local individuals, small businesses and organizations to promote their ethical and community-based projects. The forecasted number of travelers interested in sustainable tourism is forecasted to reach 250 million by 2010 - Step Up Travel has created an interactive, grassroots way for travelers and local people to participate together in responsible travel.
The internet has created a major arena for people to participate in implementing ideas, contributing reliable content, and establishing quality control so people grow to trust one another. Platforms such as Craigslist, Ebay, and MySpace are three of many examples of user-generated content that leads to the sale of goods and services, feedback ratings that build credibility for providers, and unique personal exchanges.
Said Trip Sweeney of Step Up "Travelers can have richer, more authentic and cultural travel experiences by directly contacting, meeting, and engaging on a personal level with local people. And travelers can help local services and products gain market access by recommending they create free classified ads. Furthermore travelers can rate a service provider"s ad and help elevate their credibility and ranking. Alternatively, if businesses or locals are not being responsible, the traveler can highlight this to other travelers"
"Travelers who receive an invitation may join this network of socially-minded travelers who are committed to personal exchanges, traveling in a way that benefits local people and their communities, and ultimately building a more peaceful and equitable world."
Further information: http://www.stepuptravel.org
Thursday, March 15, 2007