Social Tourism Platform MAD Travel Covid-19 Survival Strategy

Make a Difference Travel (MAD Travel) is a social tourism platform which provides alternative Philippine-based experiences. They want travellers to have meaningful memories there and also for local communities to be helped from tourism. At the moment, this can prove hard with its capital, Manilla facing a complete lockdown. 

Manila is often the central hub before travellers get flights or ferries to its more remote destinations. Mad Travel runs weekend tours and curated experiences to off beat indigenous destinations. Due to this, I wanted to know their opinion on how they were responding to Covid 19. Here is what Raf and Tom the founders said:

1.Are you currently running excursions amidst the pandemic? 

“No, we are not. We are one in making sure we do our part in containing this pandemic and just as importantly, not spreading it to the communities we work with.”

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2. What is your advice to other tourism experts across the globe in times of need?

“Think strategically and see what you can do. It may be that you need to start working on other things for a while. Find new jobs for your team members – be creative. Also, check if the government has something for the tourism sector. There are unique opportunities amidst all the uncertainty without compromising health or safety.

For those of us working with marginalized communities – check in with them and see how they are affected and how critical their situation is.

Also, we have pivoted in our strategy to develop online e-learning programs which enable our school and university partners to keep learning and interacting with our community partners, even when they can’t leave their homes.”

3.What are you doing as a business to survive in this pandemic?

“We are focusing on our online/digital products as well as our unique crowdfunding project in which we are selling trees (about USD 3. / tree). A tree purchase goes into ensuring our community partner farmers have income (they are paid to plant the tree purchases) for their daily and immediate needs while also growing a future agro-forest for their food security.”

Photo Credit: MAD TRAVEL

4.What advice can you provide to customers or travellers?

“Stay home first and let’s put this pandemic virus to sleep. We can already see the benefit of staying home as the number of cases in countries where social distancing is followed well.Also, think about anyone you’ve made a connection with on previous travels, and check-in with them – especially if they work in the travel industry. Are they doing okay? Can I help in any way?”

All Photo Credits: Mad Travel

Thankyou to MAD Travel. It’s lovely to have an insight from a Social Tourism business based in the Philippines. I love how MAD Travel are managing to crowdfund to allow farmers to sustain an income and sustain their immediate needs. The travel message they have provided to everyone is so vital. I’m in Nepal and trying my best to promote/advertise and help travel businesses in whatever way I can. What are you doing to help them?

You Can Support MAD Travel’s farmers, by donating here:


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