Purpose and Tourism: It's a match!

Five years ago I made a very important professional decision: to leave a business that I founded and worked with for the last 9 years: Raízes Sustainable Tourism. A business that represented me, my DNA and my soul. It was like my first-born child, without a doubt, a legacy. What in the beginning started as consultancy, a model to carry out touristic projects that we believed in in Brazil (dedicated professionals as we were), has now matured into a social business with innovative impacts that has been recognized, awarded, and called a “trend inventor”. We have co-created methodologies with communities to empower women both inside and outside the business in ways that were liked and desired. 

Mariana Madureira and I little by little started to attract professionals who inspired us, such as Lucila Egydio and Jussara Rocha, while we were training promising young people such as Tauana Costa, Mayra Sayuri and Isabela Braichi. Gradually, the scope of the projects was expanding and we even carried out projects outside of Brazil. Through my experience at Raízes I participated in national programs such as 10.000 Women and even international programs such as Change Maker Women and Vita Voices. At Raízes we did a lot, but we certainly learned even more. All this experience made me want to fly solo, to get hands-on with real tourism and test everything we believed in. With the decision to leave, came another long process of learning through dialogue that brought me life long lessons. We were able to apply everything we learned and executed in the projects: facilitation methodologies, deep conversations, empathy, dialogue, conflict mediation, non-violent communication together with lots of patience and breathing. And above all, respect. And so, I left with doors wide open from both sides, and what remains is a great admiration, respect and love for what we have built, and for each other.

Vivejar was born with an overwhelming desire to promote the tourism that I believe in in Brazil: one that generates income, preserves nature and truly transforms people’s lives, empowers women, sheds light on the true protagonists of our culture and of our history. There is a beautiful expression that sums it up: “what gives a place to speak to those who need to speak”. Vivejar was born as an travel operator that designs and co-creates experiences together with communities, expanded its scope of action to “designer of experiences” for other organizations and destinations and suddenly found itself in a place of opinion-maker, influencing destinations and communities to incorporate the principles of responsible and sustainable tourism from planning to marketing. Suddenly our theory of change, which foresaw transforming tourists and communities through travel expanded, wanting to soon transform the whole of Brazil. Along with this desire, Muda – Brazilian Collective for Responsible Tourism was born together with partners and suppliers who share not only our professional values, but also my personal values, which created a space for exchange, debate, dialogue with public actors, and civil society on important issues such as interaction with wildlife in tourism and ethno tourism in indigenous lands. Wow!

And it was during this incredible work that I realized that my mission as a tourismologist, social entrepreneur, empowered and transformed woman from my travels and my deep connection with Brazil, my desire to expand this work and take it to more places, communities and people. During this journey I met Gustavo Pinto, co-founder of Muda, an activist, tourismologist and from Minas Gerais, with a background in tourism and a professional curriculum filled with beautiful experiences through ‘Inverted America‘ (look what a beautiful name!). His work was so complementary to mine that the match was inevitable! It did take a few months, but when it finally happened, we knew it was meant to be. 

The global pandemic accelerated our plans to work with qualifications and we soon decided to launch our long-awaited Responsible Tourism course. We have professional experience in consulting, but mainly as facilitators in different types of processes in tourism at all stages, from planning to commercialization. We focus on Responsible Tourism and on conscious consumption while staying very aligned with world trends within tourism but also business, as this methodology has always shown us that this was the way for innovation. The pandemic came to accelerate and convince many people about our belief system: innovating in tourism (not only) today needs to increase the positive impact on activities, whatever they may be. Our perception was confirmed by the more than 600 enrollments in our first free courseResponsible Tourism: making your project a reality.

Today I can only thank the trust of all those registered and all those who support and cheer on us, and especially those who believe in the potential of increasingly responsible tourist destinations in Brazil. Let’s do this!

© 2020, Marianne Costa. All Rights Reserved.