Environment

Free hotel stay in Hawaii in exchange for helping out local communities

Rise of ‘voluntourism’ sees people travel to do good in other countries

With many of us working from home now, it’s said we are actually doing more hours than less, logging on when we would ordinarily be commuting and logging off just before dinner when we would also be travelling back from the office.

So, if you’re like us, you might be gagging for a holiday after all those excess hours and staring at the same four walls.

Fortunately, the kind folk over in Hawaii have made an offer so tempting, we think it might be next on our vacation list.

The American state, located in the Pacific Ocean, is leading the way with ‘voluntourism’ – a hybrid of volunteering and tourism whereby people travel to do good in other communities.

[Credit: Ethan Roberston]

Now, the Malama Hawaii scheme is encouraging visitors to leave their beautiful beaches and picturesque scenery in better shape than when they arrived. In exchange, guests will then receive a thank you for their hard work in the guise of a free night from participating hotels.

Seeing the impact coronavirus has had on the travel industry, organisations from across the state are joining forces to inspire mindful travel for the future in order to save our planet.

The collaborators then coined the term ‘Malama Hawaii’, with ‘malama’ meaning to ‘care for’.

There really is a little something for everyone, with volunteer projects ranging from helping out with tree-planting to mucking in with beach clean-ups and even creating quilts for Hawaiian elders.

[Credit: Jeremy Bishop]

Globally-renowned hoteliers, the Marriott, are inviting people to restore and rebuild the island by donating equipment for guests to partake in beach clean-ups at their own leisure with friends and family working together, offering a free night for those involved.

Meanwhile, the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative are gifting free stays in exchange for people giving three hours of community service to help plant their newest forest.

Major American airline, Alaska Airlines, are hosting one of the projects too and asking people to plant one tree for every flight they make to the Hawaiian Islands.

[Credit: TatanoMusic]

Chatting about the initiative, the company’s director of sales, community and public relations for Hawaii, Daniel Chun, said: “As we welcome visitors back, we want to support awareness of mindful travel to the islands – both in the air and on the ground.

“We’re excited to support Malama Hawaii, as it provides a way for our guests to partner with local residents and organisations to help strengthen the communities they visit.”

Looks like that’s our 2021 holiday sorted then!

To see the many ways you can help out, click here to have a gander: Malama Hawaii.

[Credit: Hawaiian Legacy Forest]

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