The UnTours Foundation has announced the launch of the Rest Tourism Fund, a project aimed to provide much needed financing to tourism entrepreneurs and start-ups around the world who focus on rebuilding the tourism industry’s future by adhering to community-enhancing and environmentally sustainable business practices.
Our focus is on funding the start-ups, small and medium businesses, who are the best examples of how to use tourism as a force for good.Daniel Quintana, Reset Tourism Fund, UnTours Foundation
Launched in cooperation with Expedia Group, TUI Care Foundation, Adventure Travel Trade Association, Flywire and B Tourism, the fund was created to identify emerging entrepreneurs whose businesses best represent a better future of tourism and provide them with the flexible capital needed to take their businesses to the next level of scale and impact. Funding these small, responsible tourism businesses will result in greater benefits to host communities, more quality jobs for more workers, better stewardship of natural and cultural resources, more equitable opportunities for underserved travellers and more meaningful experiences for all travellers.
To date, the trust has already deployed over $160,000 of funding into seven tourism-related companies in the United States, Mexico and Kenya. “Reset Tourism Fund helped GoPark Safaris finance our first two hybrid vehicles, the first step in our goal of moving our entire fleet of vehicles to more climate-friendly options”, revealed Gloria Nyamweru, Founder and COO of GoPark Safaris, who has already benefitted from the fund. “The flexible funding provided has been a vital catalyst in our next stage of company growth and environmental sustainability.”
We all believe that the future of tourism must be more sustainable, equitable and community-focused, but there has long been a gap for the small businesses leading the way in that effort.Shannon Stowell, CEO Adventure Travel and Trade Association
With over $540,000 already committed by the UnTours Foundation and funding partners, this effort is past the halfway point to the Phase One goal of $1 million. Funding partners interested in making philanthropic investments to the fund are being sought to help close out the first round of fundraising.
“UnTours Foundation has a 30-year history in providing flexible financing to world changing entrepreneurs at the front lines of fighting poverty, injustice and the climate crisis. Reset Tourism Fund is an exciting extension of this effort, focusing specifically on tourism, the industry that we know best, as owners of our own sustainable and Certified B Corporation travel company”, explained UnTours Foundation Co-CEO, Jonathan Coleman.
The Reset Tourism Fund will invest anywhere between $10,000 to $100,000 into companies at the forefront of building a more sustainable and community-enhancing industry. The fund will provide flexible capital to those businesses that are successfully integrating climate resiliency and sustainability into their operations, serving as pillars for their communities, creating quality jobs, putting racial and gender equality at the forefront of their business models and offering meaningful travel experiences for all travellers, especially those who have been historically underserved by the industry.