Engaging Local Communities
Local communities are the lifeblood of tourism. We're putting their interests at the center of our efforts.
Meeting local people and experiencing their culture is the best way to discover the true essence of a destination. Whether you’re catching your dinner with a local fisherman or learning to surf from someone who grew up riding those waves, it’s these human-to-human interactions that make our travels so meaningful and unforgettable.
But it can be easy to forget that the people we visit have lives of their own – and that our “vacation destinations” are their neighborhoods, sacred sites, and local parks. Because tourism pervades their everyday lives, host communities feel its impacts the greatest. On the upside, this means jobs and economic growth. On the downside, it means hardships, frustrations, and the destruction of resources they value.
We believe tourism can and should create positive ripple effects for local communities. But in order for this to happen, tourism development must be rooted in community priorities and needs.
What We're Doing
We work alongside communities to ensure tourism meets local needs and protects their natural and cultural heritage.
Involving residents in tourism planning
We help destination leaders devise tourism strategies and policies that take local interests to heart. By taking a participatory approach and involving community members in decision-making processes, we ensure local voices are heard and that residents have a say in their destination’s future.
Increasing local sustainability awareness
We educate local tourism professionals, as well as other community members on the importance of sustainability and how they can act as stewards of their own destinations.
Empowering communities to protect their ecosystems
We engage communities in conservation efforts and provide them with the knowledge and tools they need to play an active part in safeguarding their local environments and wildlife.
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