1. Tell us your story. How did GoEco get started?
After completing my B.A. in Environmental Studies, I began volunteering at different conservation projects around the world. The positive and powerful experiences I had led me to believe that other like-minded people would also enjoy similar opportunities. This belief, coupled with my passion for geography and the environment, inspired me to co-found GoEco with my high school friend, Jonathan Tal. Our goal was to create a platform that would connect individuals with sustainable and impactful volunteer opportunities worldwide.
2. What makes GoEco different from your competitors?
GoEco stands out due to our unwavering commitment to sustainability and the unique breadth of opportunities we offer. We’ve developed distinctive wildlife programs in close collaboration with local NGOs, ensuring our efforts are finely tuned to the specific needs of the communities and environments we operate in. With over 150 affordable volunteer programs spanning over 40 countries, we cover a vast range of areas, from wildlife conservation to teaching English. Each of our programs is meticulously vetted for their commitment to ethical and sustainable practices. At GoEco, we firmly believe in making a positive impact on local communities and the environment, and we continually strive to offer programs that align with this mission.
3. What is your favourite success story from your organisation?
One of our most significant success stories during these challenging times has been our ability to sustain important wildlife sanctuaries with volunteers and funding during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic, we could rally support and provide crucial help to these sanctuaries when they needed it most. This achievement not only underscores the resilience of our team and volunteers, but also reaffirms our commitment to supporting wildlife conservation efforts worldwide.
4. What can we expect to see from GoEco in the future?
As we move forward, you can expect to see GoEco continue to expand our range of programs and destinations. We are always looking for new ways to make a positive impact and provide meaningful experiences for our volunteers. We also plan to strengthen our commitment to sustainability and ethical practices, ensuring that our programs benefit not only our volunteers but also the communities and environments they serve.
5. Which trends do you see in educational and active youth travel?
We are seeing a growing interest in experiential learning and sustainable travel among young people. More and more, young travellers are seeking opportunities to engage with local communities, learn new skills, and contribute to meaningful causes. They are also increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their travel and are looking for ways to travel more sustainably. A significant trend we’ve noticed is the increasing desire to volunteer in wildlife conservation programs. This trend is connected to the rising awareness of issues such as habitat destruction, global warming, and illegal trafficking of animals, which have been receiving substantial coverage in the media. Young people are eager to be part of the solution to these global challenges, and we expect this trend to continue growing in the future.
6. How do you work to ensure the health and safety of young travellers involved with GoEco?
The health and safety of our volunteers is our top priority. We carefully vet all our programs to ensure they meet high safety standards, including annual risk assessments. We also provide comprehensive pre-departure information and support to prepare our volunteers for their experience. Once on the ground, our local teams are available to provide 24/7 help and support to our volunteers.
7. What was your motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation?
Joining WYSE Travel Confederation was a natural step for us as it aligns with our mission to promote meaningful and sustainable travel. We believe in the power of travel to foster understanding and create positive change, and we see great value in being part of a global network of organizations that share this belief.
8. Have you attended a WYSE Travel Confederation event? (WYSTC, STAY WYSE, WYSE Exchange Australia, WETM-IAC) If so, what was your experience with the event?
Yes, we have attended five WYSTC events so far, and each one has been a fantastic experience. These events have provided us with invaluable opportunities to form new partnerships and grow our business. They have also been a lot of fun! The networking opportunities, insightful sessions, and the chance to connect with like-minded professionals from around the world have been instrumental in our growth and success. We look forward to attending future WYSE events and continuing to build on these experiences.
9. What is an industry challenging your organisation is facing currently?
One challenge we faced was the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global travel. The pandemic has created uncertainty and disrupted travel plans for many of our volunteers. However, we are committed to navigating these challenges and continue to adapt our programs and practices to ensure the safety of our volunteers.
There is also an increasing demand for volunteer organisations to ensure their initiatives are genuinely beneficial to the communities they serve and are conducted in an ethical and sustainable manner. At GoEco, we embrace this challenge. We’re committed to continually refining our practices and maintaining transparency about our operations. We believe in the power of informed volunteers, and we’re dedicated to providing clear, accurate information about our work, our impact, and the communities we serve.
GoEco is a globally recognised volunteer organization that has earned a prominent position in the field. Founded by sustainable travel experts in 2006, GoEco has established itself as a leader in providing high-quality volunteer programs.
With their expertise and dedication to sustainable practices, GoEco offers a wide range of award-winning programs. These programs have been carefully selected to address pressing global issues and make a positive impact. Volunteers have the opportunity to participate in diverse projects, including wildlife conservation, marine conservation, education, medical initiatives, and internships.
Over the years, GoEco has facilitated the participation of tens of thousands of volunteers from around the world. By joining these programs, volunteers contribute to meaningful causes while experiencing personal growth and cultural immersion.
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