MatKon Travel

We help the tourism industry drive sustainable change

The tourism industry and the general mentality of tourism is currently working against sustainable future. Is it possible for tourism to become a catalyst for improved environmental action, improved intercultural learning and less inequality? If we can find a way to fairly distribute the economic outcome of tourism and remove the obstructions that stand in the way for the average tourist to understand and interact with the destination’s people and nature, we’re going in the right direction.

Did you know?

In 2019, 4.5 billion passengers used air travel – but only about 15% of the world´s living population has ever been on an airplane.

The nations that welcomes most tourists in the world or show the highest growth rates in inbound tourism, also happens to have the highest inequality rates, lowest minimum incomes and poverty rates for it’s region, highest unemployment numbers as well as high corruption, social insecurity and often a complete inability to sustainably handle the waste generated from tourists.

Developing countries hold the only biodiversity hotspots left on Earth – the same countries also have the fastest growing tourism sector – history shows, that a direct consequence of that is a fast destruction of these important areas.

What we do

Sustainable future

MatKon Travel wants to help operators, destinations as well as national and international tourism organisations make a contribution to a near future, where the resources spent are much less, but the value for the traveler, destination and environment is much bigger.

Holistic approach

In MatKon travel we take a holistic approach that focuses on 1), tourism infratructure – like using locally owned guesthouses, apartments from our own network of locally accesible apartments, food supplies, trash collection and re/upcycling instead of international hotels, sourcing and guides who aren’t local. 2), the set of values currently forming the tourism industry – like informing about the impact of status quo, what we can all do to change it and building a new structure of incentive, where people would not need to use more, before they can enjoy.

Eco focus

The itineraries we offer in our set up, will focus on eco-tourism, much less transport, requiring much less space and learning about nature from our local experts.

How we do it

10 key points are the foundation from which we work and in the solutions we deliver

Reduce the number of your international travels and the distance of them. For example, fly one time a year as a tourist and stay within your continent.

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Tourism needs to change – and this is where it starts. Many of us wish to see the world. The current situation, regretfully, calls for a different focus – a focus on impact. We urge tourists and operators to understand and adapt to the pressing situation that we are all apart of. At the same time, it is of great importance that this industry supports the societies that are now so dependent on it – in a way that corresponds with the environment. International tourism has to change it’s fundamental characteristics: From a leisure experience centered around the desires of the tourist, to leisure the goes hand in hand with the gift of learning how the world really works.

Dedicate a part of earnings to support local non-profit organizations working for vulnerable parts of society.

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Donating funds does not make a better world by itself, but it is an important part of this process. It is important though, that the allocated funds are chanelled to the right people in the right places and are part of the holistic local set up.

For example, every time your tourists book a trip they will donate to an organization, approved by MatKon Travel. Further, they will be given the opportunity to actively take part in initiatives offered by the NGO and their local donors. Yoga is a good example of these initiatives.

Reduce transport in the destination country.

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In our survey, including 50 travel bureaus in 10 different countries, we found that the tourist is transported an average of 989 km by vehicles, in between arriving at the destination and departing from there. We find this unnecessary and a waste of both the tourists’ holiday and natural resources. In our solutions, all tours will include a max. of 500 km of transport at the destination, fueled by non-renewable sources. If transport is fueled by renewable sources, distance can go up to 900 km.

Focus more on travels that include voluntary work

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Voluntary work to us means: Understand, develop and act with local communities. MatKon Travel is dedicated to find the right local initiatives that needs a long-term effort, gives long-term results and long-term understanding, with special focus on merging learning and preservation of nature with a constantly developing society. We and our local partners can help agencies make itineraries for travels that are fully or partly focused on voluntary work.

Our 4 main understandings of voluntary work:

  • We have to learn before we can help
  • It’s not sympathy tourism (Feelings of pity for someone else’s misfortune). It’s empathy tourism (the ability to understand and share the feelings of another)
  • I’m here to learn from you – I’m not here to teach you
  • Sustainable solutions to the biggest problems of humanity

Provide a tested and proved method of portable water cleaning, so you can refill your bottles and do not need to buy new bottles. Alternatively, collaborate with a local recycle partner or provide a clean-up service, meaning bringing the used plastic back with you to be recycled.

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We collaborate with manufacturers and distributors of portable water cleaning systems. We also provide both a local recycling system and a take-back solution, where we collect all used bottles and take it back with us, so it can be recycled properly.

Avoid using facilities which have no relevance to the local community or the nature around it. For example, an international hotel chain or spa-center in the forest takes up space, is massively energy consuming and, almost entirely, not accessible or useful to the local population.

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Tourism today, is for many people a short stay in a “bubble” located in a foreign society – we do not interact, understand and learn from the little time we have on our holidays. An important ingredient to add more of, if we want to see a future with a more tolerant and less destructive world society.

Only use tourist and accommodation services provided by members of the local community and companies.

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An important part of making tourism into an actual contributor to global circular economy, is making sure that the money spend at the destination, actually goes to local residents and can create long term value in the community. MatKon Travel establishes collaborations only with local guides, drivers, guesthouses, apartments and restaurants – always fully owned and managed by local residents. Furthermore, booking platforms offering short-term housing, often makes long-term housing needed by locals, unaffordable. MatKon Travel establishes a local network of landlords that supply your tourists with short-term housing but keeps long-term housing accesible and affortable as well.

Be actively involved in and support the sustainable development of local businesses.

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Besides investing directly in local businesses that works towards a sustainable future, MatKon Travel offer established operators to do the same, by finding businesses anywhere, that work towards that which this planet needs the most: purposeful ideas that transform the world of business into a force that works for the health of this planet, not against it. As an operator, there are plenty of opportunities to include these businesses in your existing tour set-up. For example, connecting plantbased restaurants and innovative upcycling with the groups of tourists you guide.

Local accommodation means local foods.

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Locally owned restaurants and guesthouses will work with us to provide your guests with local food. Through our direct involvement with and investment in local farms and villages, MatKon Travel helps to maintain a steady supplychain. The goal for our accommodation partners is that they can rely on year-round local, organic foods, within 3 years. We also recognize the well researched fact that eating plantbased food is one of the biggest single contributions a person can make to a sustainable future. We will make sure that tourists are always given a highlighted choice of eating plantbased, at our partners’ accommodation.

Avoid using animals as transport or entertainment.

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In the future, ways to make animals a product without abusing them in the long term as demand grows, might exist. However, for now such a concept have not been established.

Reuse what can be reused – this simple yet vitally important principle remains a cornerstone in our way of doing business. During the last 10 years we have put all our efforts to create a locally closed loop, which would allow to prolong the life cycle of most of the physical products that end up in Matkon, as well as reduce (and eliminate in a longer perspective) the waste.

Partners and Clients