Herost, which means "Hosts are Heroes" is an impact-driven brand and online platform dedicated to the promotion of sustainable, community-centered travel experiences hosted by responsible hosts.
Our mission is to inspire travelers and engage them to connect with local hosts committed to having a positive impact on their communities and the environment through offering verified eco-friendly accommodations, activities and events.

Herost

Implemented in

  • Asia / Pacific
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Latin America / Caribbean

Sectors of activity
Environmental Services, Culture and recreation, Tourism

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Education & Awareness Raising, Research, Analysis, Assessment

Type of lead actor
Business Sector

Shared by

Catherine Germier-Hamel

Founder and CEO - Global Marketing and Business Development | Consultant Sustainable Smart Tourism Destinations, Experiences and Lifestyles - CBT | International Speaker - Lecturer - Trainer

Millennium Destinations

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Objectives

Herost is an impact-driven brand and online platform dedicated to the promotion of sustainable, community-centered travel experiences.
Post COVID-19, a new age of tourism and hospitality is coming, focused on the development, empowerment and satisfaction of communities as the main stakeholders and right holders of the tourism experience, in order to guarantee the highest level of satisfaction and fulfillment both for hosts and guests.
Our Purpose: we exist to make this world a fairer place to live and to explore
Our vision: to advance travel as a tool for the sustainable development and empowerment of people
Our mission: we inspire travelers and engage them to connect with local hosts committed to having a positive impact on their communities and the environment through offering verified eco-friendly accommodations, activities and events.

Why Herost?
Over the past decades, travel and tourism have become a crucial part of people’s aspirations and lifestyles.
Destinations are growingly affected by the negative impacts of tourism activities pressuring environmental resources and threatening the identity and cultural integrity of local residents.
Less than 10% of the tourism revenues go to local communities, especially in developing contries1
Popular destinations are getting overcrowded and facing risks of overtourism whereas many less-known destinations suffer from low tourist affluence.
Conscious travelers often lack clear and reliable information to opt for sustainable, responsible experiences.

Herost’s unique approach is community-centric and innovative, using new technologies to address a wider market in promoting sustainable tourist accommodations and activities.
Our model drives social innovation in the travel and tourism sector through:
A collaborative platform connecting travelers and hosts towards the co-creation of truly eco-friendly experiences, quality stories and shared Herost principles and values
A charter and a recognition system with 8 themes and 30 criteria aligned with the standards of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), and tailored to host offering travel experiences, regardless of scale.
A strategy combining sustainability, quality, reliability and transparency to reward, encourage and promote excellence in sustainable practices, preventing greenwashing.
A selection of off-the-beaten and alternative destinations and experiences in order to disperse and balance the flows of tourists.

Activities

As collected through the One Planet Reporting

Output level

Knowledge resource and technical tool

  • Herost, P2P marketplace for community-based tourism

Impact and Results

Herost intends to advance travel as a tool for local sustainable development and empowerment through promoting ng community-centered experiences that are economically viable, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.

Our main objective to maximize the benefits of travel for the local hosts, their communities and the travelers, while minimizing the negative impacts on places, people and the planet.

Herost mostly focuses on three sustainable development goals:
SDG8 - Decent work and economic growth
SDG10 - Reduce inequalities within and among countries
SDG12 - Sustainable production and consumption

Our value proposition
For the hosts:
Recognition of their efforts toward community-based and sustainable practices
Increased visibility and competitiveness; access to new markets
Attract the growing segment of travelers who care
For the travelers:
Time saving and convenience in searching for reliable, verified eco-friendly options for accommodations, activities tours and events
High-quality contents about local hosts, authentic experiences and off-the-beaten-path destinations: written, visual and audiovisual storytelling
Off-the-beaten track, interactive experiences and destinations
Good image and sense of belonging to the Herost community
For the local communities:
A complementary source of revenues and jobs opportunities for local communities with a focus on youth and women

The main results and impacts we are expecting are:
Increased awareness and knowledge of sustainable travel and tourism practices
Advancement of sustainable, community-centered travel as a desirable lifestyle
Transformation of the tourism industry and shift to a sustainability paradigm
Minimization of the negative socio-cultural and environmental impacts of tourism
Increased commitment of hosts to implementing sustainable, community-centered practices and offer truly eco-friendly experiences
Development of economically viable, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable travel experiences and products
Increased engagement of travelers towards selecting sustainable travel options
Increased job and income opportunities for local communities in tourist destinations
Fairer distribution of the economic revenues generated through travel and tourism
Improvement of the livelihoods and socioeconomic status of local communities
Dispersion of the flows of travelers to less visited destinations and attractions

Next steps and how to get involved

We are looking for partners and supporters for the following activities:
Brand marketing and awareness-raising
Development and operation of the Herost online platform
Fundraising and volunteering programs
Marketing survey targetting travelers and hosts
Recruitment of hosts: identification, online and offline assessment
Storytelling and content creation
Generation of online traffic through content marketing
Network and global / local partnership building
Development of Herost Academy: online and offline education, knowledge sharing, training and capacity-building
Herost consulting on travel marketing and sustainability