There are different ways for you to travel around. Please consider the following 2 options from different ends of the scale and have a think about how you travel. Of course, nothing is right or wrong. And of course there is much in between and outside these two options. Of course travelling on your honeymoon is going to be different to the way you spend a weekend off and different to the way you back pack around the globe.
But I provide 2 options as a means to consider how you wish to travel and what impact you wish to have - they are based on what I have seen over many years travelling and working within the tourism industry as well as talking to local people and organisations who live in tourist impacted areas.
Tourists stay in foreign owned hotels.
Eat foreign food.
Local people serve the tourists.
Tourists wear culturally inappropriate clothing.
Meet and talk to few locals.
Interaction with the locals is not based on an equal relationship.
There is no growth in knowledge about each other.
The tourists are in a position of power.
Locals have little control over the tourist industry and many gain little or no benefit.
This type of tourism often leads on to:
• Land loss by local people.
• Environmental destruction.
• Uneven wealth distribution.
• Cultural degradation.
For the tourist this form of tourism is physically comfortable but; expensive, not educational and does not provide a good feeling in regards to human interaction in the host country.
Tourists stay in local home stays or small local establishments.
Experience local life.
Eat locally grown food.
Wear culturally appropriate clothing.
Learn some local language.
The tourist is a guest of the local people.
Interaction on both sides is based on an equal relationship.
Tourism works to help strengthen the local culture.
Tourism works to help protect the environment.
Village life is enriched and enjoyed.
Villagers keep their land, lifestyle and culture.
Locals gain benefits from tourism.
For tourists the experience is less physically comfortable but; often cheap, educational, increases understanding, involves making new friends and leaves a good feeling in regards to the people from the host country.