Why would I use KutoaTravel.com?
Search Kutoa to find beautiful, memorable, meaningful travel destinations around the world. Turn to Kutoa to plan your honeymoon, gap year, spring break, family vacation, anniversary, or any other trip you might be thinking of taking. Kutoa has something for every travel taste, budget, and adventure (or relaxation!) level. So, treat yourself to that safari. Seize the chance to learn to SCUBA dive. Find that perfect mountain hideaway. Get lost in the adventure of travel, starting with Kutoa. And the best part? . . . Any trip you find through Kutoa, you know directly benefits the local community in the destination that you visit.
What is Kutoa?
Kutoa is a free search engine for travelers to plan trips that have a positive impact on the local communities they visit. We promote what we call Socially Green travel and require all accommodations and tour companies listed on our site to donate goods, time, or money to important social causes within 50 miles (80 km) of where they operate. For example, travelers could find a hotel in Kenya that donates a portion of its proceeds to build and repair local schools, an ecolodge in Costa Rica whose staff and guests volunteer at a local rainforest conservation society, or a bed and breakfast in New England that hosts an annual auction to benefit an after-school program for at-risk youth in a nearby city.
What does Kutoa mean?
Kutoa means “to give” in Swahili.
How are Member Businesses selected for Kutoa?
We require all Member Businesses to apply before being listed on our site. Interested businesses begin by filling out a quick form to tell us whether or not they have any Socially Green practices. If yes, then we send those businesses a link to a more detailed application where the businesses tell us all about themselves, their services, and their involvement with the local community. We screen applicants rigorously, and all Member Businesses must prove that they impact, improve, and empower the local community in a proactive way. Membership is not limited to eco-tourism destinations; rather, Member Businesses include hotels, bed and breakfasts, lodges, hostels, business hotels, resorts, and excursion companies of all types and from all over the world. Interested businesses can also contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. After being approved by Kutoa, Member Businesses receive a full-page listing for $100 USD/year.
What is the difference between environmentally green travel and Socially Green travel?
Environmentally green travel encourages people not to harm the environment and to use measures like alternative energy, water conservation, recycling, and organic gardening. Socially Green travel encourages people to engage with local communities, identify important local causes, and actively contribute time, goods, or money to those causes.
Can a Socially Green travel business choose the environment as its important local cause? Absolutely! As long as the business actively contributes money or in-kind goods or services to an environmental cause that is important to the local community, that project can qualify as Socially Green travel. Whereas an environmentally green hotel might conserve water by installing low-flow showerheads or by allowing guests to choose towel service only upon request, that same hotel can become Socially Green by also donating time or money to support a local conservation area. Environmentally green travel and Socially Green travel are not mutually exclusive; rather, a business can be BOTH at the same time.
How do I know that Kutoa Member Businesses are doing what they say they do?
We ask that travelers help monitor Member Businesses by asking during their trip about the business’s projects and involvement with the local community. Travelers should email us at email@example.com and specifically address the Socially Green practices of the places they stayed and the companies they used. If we receive a complaint or suspicion that a Member Business is not living up to its Socially Green claims, Kutoa contacts the business to address the problem and suspend the account. If the Member Business fails to meet the Kutoa criteria, the business will be cut from the website.
Does Kutoa accept article submissions for publication on its blog?
Yes, absolutely. Travelers and Member Businesses may submit articles for publication on our blog. Publishing is a great way to publicize your Socially Green travel experiences and philosophies, and even to promote your Socially Green business for free. We welcome articles about specific businesses, trips, and destinations in general, as long as they relate to the mission of Socially Green travel. Send article submissions and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I keep in touch with the world of Socially Green travel?
Don’t miss a beat! Bookmark our blog and sign up for our free newsletter at the bottom right of any page. Also, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get updates on Kutoa and its new members online.