THIS year’s global travel experts Lonely Planet ‘Best in Travel’ picks for 2021 featured Invisible Cities UK – the exciting social enterprise that offers people affected by homelessness the opportunity to become a tour guide in their own city.
The Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2021 list has selected 30 inspirational people, destinations and tourism projects that shine a light on pioneering sustainable practices.
“Travel in 2021 and beyond will be a much more considerate exercise than it has been ever before,” Lonely Planet CEO Luis Cabrera said. “With travellers cautiously re-engaging with the world and focusing on ensuring their impact is safe and positive for host communities, we have decided to highlight destinations and individuals that truly enable visitors to make genuine contributions through regenerative travel.”
“We are taking the chance to re-emphasise what we are here for and why: our mission remains to be a trusted travel companion. One that inspires, informs, and guides, while being in sync with travel wants and needs.”
Invisible Cities was selected primarily because they provide an engaging alternative tour, bringing city stories to life with unique local perspectives for both tourists and locals in Manchester, as well as in Edinburgh, Glasgow and York.
They train people directly affected by homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city and offer these alternative tours to tourists and locals. Their training focuses on confidence building, public speaking and customer service. They partner with professional tour guides to build bespoke tours and practice their routes.
Zakia Moulaoui Guery, Founder & CEO of Invisible Cities CIC explained, “Our social enterprise doesn’t believe in labels or stereotypes and we want to help as many people as possible to realise their true potential.
“Through supporting those who have experienced and are currently experiencing homelessness and training them to become tour guides in their own city, we can help them to change the direction of their lives whilst also offering these one of a kind tours to both locals and tourists alike.
“It means the world to us that we have been awarded the Best in Travel 2021 award by Lonely Planet and it’s given us a well-needed boost in what has otherwise been a somewhat challenging year.”
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