Urban Adventures launches social enterprise tours

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One of the "In Focus" tours is a craft class in Nepal. Proceeds help disadvantaged women.
One of the "In Focus" tours is a craft class in Nepal. Proceeds help disadvantaged women.

Intrepid Travel’s day-tour brand, Urban Adventures, has added social enterprise tours to its portfolio of city and day tours around the world.

Urban Adventures has linked up with local non-governmental and nonprofit organizations to develop an "In Focus" series of tours, which are being offered in Nepal, Australia, India, Taiwan and Romania.

The tours aim to offer insight into local issues and the efforts underway to resolve them. Travelers will have the chance to see how a particular issue is being addressed and will have the opportunity to meet the people who are both running and benefiting from the initiatives.

“Some of these social enterprise projects take place far from the usual tourist route. The benefits of tourism don’t reach these people — and that is part of the current problem but also the opportunity,” said Tony Carne, general manager of Urban Adventures.

Some examples of "In Focus" tours include:

• A Kolkata Solar Slum Tour, which takes travelers behind the scenes of Pollinate Energy, a social enterprise bringing solar light to India’s urban poor and reducing indoor air pollution caused by kerosene lamps and wood stoves.

• Outcast Bucharest, which in partnership with the Parada Foundation, runs an organization that provides employment to homeless people, giving travelers insight into what life is like on the Romanian capital’s streets.

• The Taipei Sweet Potato Mama Project, which introduces travelers to single mothers who earn their living selling potatoes as street snacks as part of an initiative by Taiwan’s Genesis Social Welfare Foundation.

• A cooking class or craft class in Kathmandu, presented in partnership with Seven Women, a social enterprise that empowers disadvantaged women in Nepal through literacy classes, skills training and income-generation programs.

Travelers will also be given the opportunity and information needed to remain in contact with the project after their visit and become a supporter, advocate or donor.

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