By Shannon Valdes Leiderman
According to the United Nations, as little as 5% of international travel spending actually reaches local communities. Lokal proves that it doesn’t have to be that way.
The social enterprise started as a serendipitous collaboration between a group of nonprofit professionals, storytellers and tech enthusiasts with one key belief: that connecting with local communities is an essential part of all good adventures. The founders recognized that although many communities and families offer cultural experiences that empower locals, they were just too hard for people to find. As a result, travelers were missing out on amazing experiences while communities were missing out on much-needed tourism dollars. Lokal was created to connect the dots.
A global marketplace for sustainable travel, Lokal works with local destination experts and a global network of travelers to curate once-in-a-lifetime cultural experiences. Every adventure offered on the site is designed to strengthen local livelihoods, protect pristine environments and celebrate cultural traditions, all while putting more travel dollars directly in the hands of local communities. The website also lists a collection of guesthouses and eco resorts to take the guesswork out of sustainable stays.
Lokal partners with family-run businesses, community cooperatives and social enterprises to ensure that every experience is authentic, personal and impactful. You won’t find any hotel chains or bus tours—just meaningful experiences, led by real locals, in seldom-visited natural wonders around the globe. From trekking the untouched Himalayan with local guides to exploring the Norwegian arctic with reindeer herders, Lokal promises “the best trip of your life that gives back.”