ACV13: Building a company around sustainable tourism (Cai Yinzhou, Founder of Citizens Adventures, Part 1)
By Paul Tern
Cai Yinzhou has some very interesting ideas around sustainable tourism. These aren't just ideas to him - he's gone on to build a tour company around them. I talk to him about the definition of sustainable tourism and his life growing up in the colourful community of Geylang in Singapore.Cai Yinzhou is the Director of Citizen Adventures Private Limited, a company that organises tours and social initiatives in the communities of Geylang and Dakota Crescent in Singapore. Through these activities, he advocates for positive societal change, specifically targeting issues of integration and inequality in these communities. To date, more than 5000 people (including students, academics and policy makers) have come on the tours Citizen Adventures. Yinzhou is also part of backalleybarbers, a social initiative that has given more than 2,300 free haircuts to disadvantaged people. Yinzhou was awarded the Singapore Youth Award in 2017, the nation's highest youth accolade. 3 things I learned:This was a very interesting conversation about the philosophy of sustainable tourism. How do you preserve the communities and the culture of the destination rather than destroy it? How can the tourism industry be socially beneficial to that community?We can be too quick in judging people - everyone has a story, and often they may be pushed into prostitution or other shady jobs because of their circumstances.It’s easy to stay aloof and apart, but instead Yinzhou made an effort to get to know the community around him and to think deeply about the issues that plague it. We could all take a leaf from his book.