Contour applies the principles governing the commercial viability of different tourism markets in destinations universally and has specific experience in the following countries:
Tourism and poverty reduction
This paper summarizes how tourism can reduce poverty through a global and collective approach from all the key players.
If you create a path that helps reduce poverty people will travel on it.
- Tourism is a free market enterprise - therefore providing a choice is essential in helping to educate both suppliers and buyers and to direct money to help reduce poverty.
- Tourists and companies are increasingly considering social responsibility and so it is now easier than ever to direct revenue to help reduce poverty. Tourists pay their hard earned money to reward and enjoy them selves. They buy a holiday based largely on cost and climate. Altruism is rarely offered as a choice, whilst justifying ones carbon footprint by offsetting minuscule amounts of money to unknown recipients is now widely offered and purchased, but this does not directly reduce the poverty in the destination being visited. Tourists can help reduce poverty if they are better informed and have the choice to buy local produce on menus and in shops and to participate in activities that incorporate self-help programmes. Companies will use more local resources if they are competitive, have appeal and comply with international standards.
Key players can manage and direct tourism revenue to help reduce poverty:
- Governments can, as part of a tourism development policy, control land sales, manage fair trade and environmental issues as well as collect revenue from taxes, set minimum capacity and local resource levels, facilitate self-help initiatives, and establish tourism educational programmes and marketing strategies. Policy starts with people and the local population must be consulted on their aspirations, problems and concerns.
- Local populations need to understand what is their USP and which specific tourism sector it relates to.
- Marketing organisations & developers need to be better informed and understand local population and environmental issues and be encouraged to use local suppliers through national and local tourism development policies.
- Overseas organisers – particularly mainstream tour operators - can better embrace and promote social responsibility by employing more local people, using more locally produced supplies, supporting local health and educational programmes and being more sensitive to local population and environmental issues.
- Destination service providers – ground agents, DMC’s, shops and excursion activities - need to offer a wider choice of services that are local sourced whilst meeting international standards.
- Tourists need to be more discerning in their choice, more sensitive to local population and environmental issues and more vocal on the web e.g. YouTube & Tripadvisor.
Tourism can definitely help reduce poverty and actions speak louder than words.
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Other papers on other tourism issues:
Crises in tourism destinations
Conservation & sustainable tourism
Marketing your tourist destination
Actions speak louder than words
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