It's human nature to help a child in need, and most of us would do anything to make a difference when we are travelling. Which is why orphanages have become such popular destinations for travellers.
But the sad reality is that there’s a growing industry that’s exploiting our good intentions for profit. Around the world, children are being trafficked to fake orphanages as lucrative tourist attractions. They’re kept in deliberately poor conditions to elicit sympathy, and are left vulnerable and exposed.
That’s why Intrepid Travel no longer visits orphanages. Instead, we’re advocating for change and actively donating funds to trusted child protection organisations in countries where the industry is rife.
The good news is, there are ways you can have a positive impact when you travel. Intrepid are continually developing partnerships via The Intrepid Foundation and our NGO partners to facilitate community-based tourism projects that allow you to experience the local culture while empowering the communities you are visiting. Many of our trips also include visits to local homestays and communities that have been developed to directly benefit the people living there. But remember that being a responsible traveller is about being aware that children in any environment can be vulnerable.
Read our full policy on Child Protection
Looking for a trip that will have a positive impact and help you travel for good?
Best of Myanmar
On this trip, you'll stay at a unique community lodge in central Myanmar, a pioneering community-based tourism initiative outside the town of Myaing, north of Bagan.
Be welcomed into a family ger to see how modern Mongolian nomads are preserving an ancient way of life, and experience nomadic life on this rare and rewarding cultural experience.
Visit a lodge in the Kalahari region that is owned and run by the San (Bushmen) people, set up as a social enterprise that helps empower the community through employment.
Classic Costa Rica
Stay at the Santa Rosa de Pocosol community homestay, in an agricultural area where many women are now able to work and raise their children instead of having to move to bigger cities.
Take a look at the latest stories on The Journal.
May 11, 2016
6 reasons you should think twice...
Orphanage tourism is what happens when good intentions and reality don’t quite...
Jan 12, 2017
Why we’re rethinking orphanage tourism
Most travellers, donors and volunteers just want to help, but it's an industry...
Dec 09, 2016
Meet the NGO that’s fighting back...
Just outside the Old Town in Hanoi sits one of the most important buildings in...
May 30, 2017
Meet Jimmy, the Intrepid leader who...
The story of Jimmy Pham, an Intrepid Travel tour guide who went on to found KOTO,...
Sep 12, 2017
How we’re stepping up the fight...
Who wouldn’t want to help an orphaned child? Unfortunately, our desire to help can...
There's more than one way to Be Responsible.