A startup is rethinking how tourism must work to benefit communities

Onwards Travel, a Wisconsin-based non-profit, has found a way to use tourist dollars to fuel local, small town economies. By purchasing their adventure packages, you not only get an organized tour but you also help communities fund their own development.

The startup was founded by Jacob Taddy who saw how a Dominican Republic town transformed from an agricultural sleeper into a hit destination through tourism. In the early 2000s, during the government’s decision to move farmers off from a protected forest to greenhouses, international aide organization workers flocked to Rio Limpio. The rise in visitors provided occupants to bed and breakfasts, diners for local restaurants and sent youth-led tour guides a constant stream of clients.

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