Tourism is usually considered a good way to
generate economic growth for destinations and many places in the world indeed
depend on it as a source of income.
Most literature focuses on tourism’s benefits
through both the direct expenditures of visitors and the associated employment
opportunities it creates. It is commonly argued that a higher level of
visitation to a place brings with it the appearance of related services, such
as hotels, restaurants, car rental agencies, tour companies, service stations, and
Tourists usually expect that some of the money
they spend will directly benefit the local population, but this is not always
the case. One of the greatest dangers in tourism is that of financial leakages,
which occur when financial resources 'leak away' from the destination country
to another country. This happens, for example, when the tourism company is
based abroad and when tourism-related goods and services are being imported to
the destination country.
Another risk along the same line is the fact
that sometimes employment goes to persons residing outside of the area which
directly experiences the impacts of tourism. The usual explanation for this is
the lack of an existing local capacity.
Responsible tourism is meant to contribute to
economic and social development. Purchasing local handicrafts and products to
support the local economy using the principles of fair trade is a good way to
achieve this. It’s also important to work with the local communities to build
their capacity in order to increase their participation of the economic
benefits of tourism.
This entry was originally posted by the author on June 30, 2011.