World Tourism Day

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

It is a little ironic given the collapse of Thomas Cook and the problems facing the Slovenian airline, Adria, (it linked Manchester with Ljubljana before the flights were suspended this week) that the theme for today should be “Tourism and Jobs: A Better Future for All”.

Expanding tourism is one of the fastest ways to encourage employment and economic growth which is why so many destinations plough so much time and effort into it. What many don’t realise is that in the most competitive of markets, investments keep on having to be made in order for a destination to continue to attract and ever-increasing number of visitors. Sitting on your hands and thinking the good times will continue can be a big mistake for some places. Even places like Florida with a host of manufactured attractions run behind if there are no new or improved attractions opening in Orlando.

Claiming a better future for all is also a difficult choice. Is it better that organisations like Airbnb can increase tourism numbers to a destination, increase revenue for homeowners yet cause local rental prices to escalate, put an increased use on local services but contribute little to the in infrastructure?

Is it better than tour operators and other travel companies develop all-inclusive resorts so that tourists are comforted from escalating costs or is closeted nature of this business model damaging to the local economy because visitors have o need to go to restaurants, cafes or bars?

Cruise ships enable people to see a lot of the world yet they, like all-inclusive resorts, leave little in the communities they visit but do avail themselves of the infrastructure.

When sustainable tourism has been such an emotive aim in the eye of travel companies for decades, is at achievable in the truest sense of the word in the days of “big” tourism?

And the more of us that travel, the more cumulative damage can be done to the most popular of destinations.

If tourism is to provide a better future for all, more thinking, planning and an assessment of the impact of tourism not just in ten years but in fifty and a hundred years is probably needed.

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