In an effort to provide travelers with an authentic travel experience, social business Backstreet Academy pairs people up with locals in the area, specifically disadvantaged cooks and craftspeople. The for-profit model works with non-governmental organizations across Asia, enabling natives to offer tours and classes as well.
In addition to offering authentic travel, Backstreet Academy focuses on democratizing travel in developing nations and empowering communities in South East Asia by giving an entry point to the tourism industry, which is typically dominated by travel agencies. The online platform asks such community members for culturally specific activities like fishing, boxing, weaving and knife-making. All these independent tours and activities are curated and tested by the Backstreet Academy team and are often executed with trained facilitators present (usually local students who speak English).