Travel with love

Travel responsibly: boost local economies and businesses

We become part of something bigger by exploring new places and enjoying well-deserved relaxation in exotic locations or around-the-corner destinations. Consider this a backstage pass to understand how tourism isn't just a vacation but a true powerhouse for local economies. 

How can we connect with local cultures, contribute to economic development, create job opportunities, and support local businesses? Thankfully, we can be global citizens by doing what we love: travelling!

Support local economies, one holiday at a time

Tourism should be about connecting with real people in real places. When we choose to stay, eat, and shop locally, we're not just visitors but local supporters.

Travel and tourism play a crucial role in uplifting the lives of millions worldwide. Over the past nine years, this sector has outpaced the global economy in growth and significantly contributed to the well-being of individuals and their communities.

Between 2011 and 2019, the GDP per person growth in travel and tourism globally surpassed that of the overall economy, boasting an annual average of 2.9% compared to 1.7%. In other words, this means that the travel and tourism industry can improve the quality of life and people’s incomes faster than the broader economy, even if it can be damaging if persecuted in an unbalanced way and without respect for the environment and local cultures.

South East Asia experienced the swiftest annual growth rate at an impressive 6.7%, eclipsing the region's overall economic growth of 3.7%. Similarly, the Middle East achieved a 3% growth, starkly contrasting the modest 0.3% growth in the regional economy.

In essence, this is about exploring new places; sustainable tourism is a dynamic force that propels economic growth and plays a crucial role in enhancing the livelihoods of individuals and the communities they call home. [1] It's not this special, niche thing—it's what all types of tourism should aim for. To make it work for the long haul, we need to find the right balance between the environment, the economy, and the socio-cultural aspects of tourism. [2]

Hidden economic gems

Every artisan market, family-owned restaurant, or cosy homestay is a piece of the local economic puzzle. By immersing ourselves in these hidden gems, we become critical players in preserving local cultures and heritage. It's like a win-win: tourists get an authentic experience, and local communities get the support they need.

Every hotel, tour guide, or craft shop we visit can be seen as a potential job creator. These opportunities aren't just numbers; they're stories of locals building their dreams and establishing their livelihoods. Our travel choices catalyse economic development, turning destinations into vibrant hubs.

Our decision to explore a community isn't just a travel choice; it's an investment. Tourism empowers communities by fostering a sense of pride in their culture and heritage and can give a boost to the economy, as it happened in Portugal, where the tourism revenues grew faster than the economy for eight consecutive years, achieving growth of about 20% and a direct impact of 7.8% in the GDP. [3] In France, the total amount of internal tourism consumption represents around 7.5% of the GDP. [4]

Diverse Experiences, Diverse Impact

Tourism has a heartwarming impact on local communities, creating a ripple effect that extends far beyond travel. This industry isn't just about destinations; it's about creating opportunities for everyone and incredibly empowering vulnerable groups such as minorities, youth, and women. [5]

The tourism sector boasts almost twice as many female employees as other sectors and employs a higher youth share than the economy. It's like a powerhouse of positive change, making a difference in diverse lives and communities.

Our tip: Our well-deserved morning coffee can come from an independent cafeteria, not the usual bar chain we can find worldwide. Let’s make an effort to find independent local businesses while abroad.

Your passport to change

We need to think of sustainable tourism as not just a fancy label but a team effort where everyone plays a part. It's an ever-evolving process that keeps our destinations fantastic for us and future generations.

Tourism isn't just about sightseeing; it's about making a difference. Every trip we take has the potential to shape economies, preserve cultures, and create lasting memories. So, when we plan our next adventure, let’s think beyond landmarks and consider the impact we can make on the local community.

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