Non-profit Bee+Hive's new booking platform for sustainable travel provides holidays that give back to the community
What a wonderful world
Whether it's beaches and tans, safaris and wildlife, or hotels and relaxation, we're in a constant chase for the extraordinary when traversing the globe. But what happens when a once-idyllic spot gets overrun with enthusiastic, wide-eyed travelers looking for that perfect Instagram-worthy picture? We've explored this before – the repercussions of commercial overtourism, and what it can do to a place. Now, we're not saying stop traveling (God forbid) – but perhaps a little more consideration when we're planning our next trip out yonder is in line. Here's where Bee+Hive steps in: June this year will see their launch of a new booking platform with a portfolio encompassing sustainable tourism. Since they're a not-for-profit, all the revenue they make goes into promoting specific locales and experiences in line with their values. So they've done the research, and they've secured the partnerships – all we have to do is make the choice to protect what matters.
What does matter? To Bee+Hive, it's three areas they identified around which the travel activities in their portfolio were curated. The first and most obvious consideration is the Local Environment pillar, in which experiences are focused on preserving the sanctity of mother nature and all the blessings she possesses. One of the twelve experiences Bee+Hive currently offers, for instance, is a saunter down the streets of Lima Duarte in Brazil, in which you'll get to witness a space connected to Ibitipoca State Park (under the Reserva do Ibitipoca project) created for the main purpose of kindling wildlife development. The package promises varying landscapes and breathtaking attractions all steeped in discovery and a reverence for nature. An ecotourist's dream come true.
Then there is the Local Economy pillar. Hotels in host countries have the most to gain (financially) from eager visitors, but not all of them hold themselves accountable to the state of the wider nation within where they operate. This is why founder Bruno Correa ensured to get a collective of hotels (mostly smaller boutique properties) under his company's belt that strive towards a common goal: For hotels to play a more conscionable role in the local ecosystem, contributing fairly to the economy and minimising damage done to its environment. The Little St. Simons Island trip in their list is a perfect example of these efforts. Located down south in Georgia (USA), the private island boasts undisturbed, pure serenity in the Golden Isles — which is a good change of pace from city life. Its immaculate beaches and surrounding wilderness promises you a charming respite; and since the property has Bee+Hive's stamp of approval, you can deepen your satisfaction with the knowledge that you're supporting an establishment that gives back to its community.
A house becomes a home because of the people living in it, and the same is true for a country and its locals. In recognizing this, Bee+Hive's final pillar of focus is Local Culture, pinpointing the parts of a community that makes it special and paying respectful homages to both safeguard and honor their ways of life. Members in their repository are all intimately involved in creating bespoke, unique experiences for the sincerely inquisitive soul. The Masuwe Lodge in Zimbabwe proves it: complete with a tour of Victoria Falls – both the town (which means opportunities to interact with townsfolk) and the majestic waterfall within its borders – the stay is prime for appreciating the grandeur that casually exists in the Zimabweans' backyard. Plus, their safari adventures and guided bush walks involve personable interactions with their culture while retaining the crucial must-sees. At this point, Bee+Hive has made it so convenient for us to be sustainable tourists that we can cling on to the hope that perhaps one day, careless traveling will be a thing of the past.