Over the past few days, the team has been out the door before sunrise, taking the first step of each day towards one of the reasons why Iconik exists in the first place. From 6:00am, to 5:30, to 4:45, we woke up half-asleep yet fully awakened by the purpose of why we do what we do.
For three days, together with our partners from Local Government Units (LGUs) and the City Tourism Office of Palawan, we ventured into different towns and sites to meet with local communities, be blown away by the views their areas had to offer, and discuss various ways on how we could work together.
You see, Iconik Travels and Events, is not a mere tour provider and operator, but more of a development partner — working hand-in-hand in identifying challenges among local community tourist sites, creating solutions to address them, and hustling to ensure that they come into fruition.
How can Iconik do this, you ask?
While “sustainable tourism” is a buzz word often thrown around the industry, there is still much room in clearly identifying what it is and how it should be done. UNESCO defines it as “tourism that respects both local people and the traveller, cultural heritage and the environment”, but Iconik Travels and Events wishes to commit to a much bigger purpose than what this definition offers. Inspired by the move of the city government of Puerto Princesa who pushed for the Community-based Sustainable Tourism (CBST) advocacy since 2012, Iconik hopes to not only respect local people, cultural heritage, and the environment, but to also help build them. We envision a tourism industry that local communities have the same – or even more influential – hand in directing the livelihood and economy of their people and areas. With the help of various partners and collaborations, Iconik believes that sustainable tourism in this regard will be possible in the near future.
After spending our mornings and afternoons hiking, trekking, and engaging in conversations with the locals, the Iconik team found an even more renewed spirit in supporting and advocating for CBST. Aside from getting to know the locals’ needs and understanding them more deeply, it allowed us to create meaningful shared experiences that we wish all of our guests and clients would have in their own respective trips.
We are so excited to be beginning our community partnerships soon and we can’t wait until we can share all these breathtaking new tourist sites for you to enjoy. Stay tuned for more updates!
Should you also wish to know more about our CBST efforts and to partner with us in this advocacy, please feel free to send us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org.