Photo by Kyle Glenn
Tourism is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. As an essential part of a nation’s economic growth and development, the income generated from tourism has the ability to be used for the good of the society from an economic and social standpoint. GDP and monetary contributions from tourism can be used to alleviate important issues such as lack of infrastructure, low employment rates or poverty by contributing resources to fostering opportunities for the local communities.
In this week’s blog, I’ll unpack how tourism, when managed sustainably, can contribute to building a society that is engaged with sustainable tourism.
Tourism services and products can create opportunities for skilled people to have a chance to showcase their talents, inspiring new business ventures, while paving the way for enhanced productivity through meaningful work. Showcasing skills like making silver jewelry or leather products via tourist-marketed experiences or even opening up a local merchant stall in a tourist-friendly location, can bring economic benefits to locals. The interactions like the ones listed below can bring together locals and tourists to increase social harmony.
Helping small businesses (SMEs or minority-owned businesses) attain financial stability.
Local products are shared with tourists, thus, enhancing economic growth and facilitating cross-cultural understanding.
Local talent is acknowledged and promoted.
Tourists interact with locals in a variety of languages, facilitating cross-cultural understanding
Combats racism and other prejudice
Development of Infrastructure
The income generated by tourism can likewise contribute to the betterment of local infrastructure. Tourist destinations located in remote places or areas with poor infrastructure can put the funds that stem from tourism spending to good use to improve and invest in new and green infrastructure. This will bring in tourists, while also being enjoyed by locals. Infrastructural advancements also have the ability to improve the tourism competitiveness of a destination.
Infrastructural advancements could be in the shape of:
tracks and roads
hotels and accommodations
Promotion of Culture and Preservation of Heritage
Tourism can improve relations between countries. As an industry, it presents great opportunities to invite visitors from every corner of the world to learn about different cultures. Local guides and locally-led tours make it possible to share personal anecdotes and stories with tourists about the history of the destination as well as the people and places they are visiting.
These types of exchanges can also strengthen cultural values. Hosting special markets or events like arts and crafts fairs can attract tourists, boost the local economy and help tourists to understand the richness and authenticity of the local culture.
As you’ve seen with the examples presented above, the tourism industry has great potential to innovate sustainable development and support local communities and host societies.
Tourism can contribute to:
Discovery of new ways to monetize skills
When harnessed correctly, sustainable tourism development has the power to change the way that locals think about tourism. Positive associations with what tourism can bring to destinations will not only improve how tourism will continue to grow, but make it a tool to build a more informed and sustainable society.
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Sea Going Green is a sustainable tourism consultancy working with clients in the international development sphere to create and recommend strategies for continuous sustainable development and growth in destinations.
GDP and monetary contributions from tourism can be used to alleviate
important issues such as lack of infrastructure, low employment rates or
poverty by contributing resources to fostering opportunities for the local
In this week’s blog, I’ll unpack how tourism, when managed sustainably, can
contribute to building a society that is engaged with sustainable tourism.Read MoreEducationBlog – Sea Going Green