SUPPORT LOCAL

A Continuation on supporting local communities

By Onycha Vandermeer

Although nature-based tourism is a large industry and is growing in popularity it is the case more often than not that destinations did not have the opportunity to properly plan for a sustainable and locally run tourism industry. In many of these cases, internationally owned corporations are receiving a large share of revenue generated by tourism. The increased number of visitors typically causes property values to rise and often means lower income residents cannot afford to continue living in popular tourist destinations.

 

While larger corporations can bring more travelers and money to a destination, the majority of the revenue they make leaves the area and is not put back into the community. A small fix for this is the taxes imposed on tourism (ex:airport and hotel tax) which generate tax revenue that goes towards building roads, schools or hospitals for local communities as well as protecting national parks or natural areas. However, the tax revenue generated from internationally owned corporations based in tourist destinations is just a small fraction of the money spent in within tourism industry. Shopping local is the best way to make a positive financial impact in a community.

 

It is also important to keep in mind that most tourism is seasonal and can be negatively impacted by current political conditions or travel safety warnings, negative media, global economy, natural disasters or other reasons. It's common for nature-based tourism to provide a major economic boost in areas with few other industries. A decrease in visitors can cause an entire community to struggle financially if it is heavily dependent on the tourism industry.