Bridging the gap between tourism, organisations and the poor, ConCERT is the link to helping travellers to help the destinations they visit.
What to experience?
During your stay you may see something that makes you want to help, your heart has been stirred a thousand times but you bravely refrain from giving directly to disadvantaged children, or you may just want to find out more about what is being done. ConCERT ‘Connecting Communities, Environment & Responsible Tourism’ can help answer all the questions you have, and will connect you to the destination by finding ways you can support the Cambodian people.
ConCERT gathers over 20 well managed and financially transparent NGO members in Siem Reap province, who are involved in many activities including schools, water supplies, environmental protection, HIV/AIDS support, health care provision, community development etc. Since they know well what each organisation does and the type of help it needs, they are the best people to advise you on how to offer help in ways that bring real benefits.
At the Siem Reap office, you’ll find visitor information covering issues concerning street children, human trafficking, Cambodian culture and heritage, school and orphanage visits, and environmental protection.
They also encourage all travellers to buy locally and seek out locally made products, and can recommend outlets and shops where local products are available and where the staff enjoy good working conditions.
How does it help ?
In addition to their core business of increasing the level and quality of support for Siem Reap, ConCERT is working to improve both the performance and perception of Siem Reap as a responsible tourism destination. They have a number of business members including hotels and guest-houses, bars and restaurants, and tour operators, helping them to design activities for guests that bring real benefits to the communities they visit. So you may already be staying with a hotel or guest-house that works with ConCERT.
The word “environment” in their title reflects the work they do in supporting organisation and business members to adopt environmentally sustainable practices and solutions. For example they always suggest that members specifically consider renewable energy options or composting toilets etc. where possible. Several of their members are also involved in conservation activities. ConCERT promotes their work, which is often in remote locations where tourists would not otherwise visit, by arranging for travellers to visit these areas.
The 2010 British Guild of Travel Writers’ award for the Best Overseas Tourism initiative