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Socially Responsible Travel

The Society for Biblical Studies sets a high standard for socially responsible travel, not because it is politically correct or because some churches encourage it, but because it is consistent with the best traditions of Christian pilgrimage and our own vision for Christian educational travel. We believe that sincerity to the biblical faith has moral, social, political, economic and environmental dimensions, especially when we are traveling in conflict bound regions, such as Israel/Palestine or regions in which economic disparities are enormous, such as Brazil.

  • Our journeys are designed to support stressed communities such as Christian communities in Palestine, Egypt and Jordan.
  • SBS travelers lodge in locally owned and operated hotels wherever possible (vs large hotel chains).
  • We do not lodge in hotels that are built in occupied territories by occupying powers, such as Israeli hotels in East Jerusalem.
  • We do not engage in anti-competitive business practices like making profitable business arrangements with restaurants and souvenir shops. SBS staff, guides and drivers do not seek or receive commissions paid based on SBS traveler shopping and purchase of various services.
  • We seek to work with environmentally sustainable vendors of tourist services.
  • In every case, our itineraries illuminate the dynamics of the contemporary contexts in which we travel.
  • We educate our travelers about the backgrounds, history and continuing dimensions of political conflict and economic injustice and especially Christian obligations to responsibly engage these issues.
  • We introduce our travelers to local partners who are engaged in church work, human rights work, social justice work, peacemaking and interfaith relationship building.

The Society for Biblical Studies promotes socially responsible travel, ; because it is enriching for our travelers and; because it makes no sense for us to “walk where Jesus walked” 2,000 years ago, if we do not also walk where Jesus walks today.

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