Tuesday, April 17

Pro-Poor Tourism

In completing cultural tourism research for my supervising professor, I came upon a travel philosophy called Pro-Poor Tourism.

Here is a well written definition from the website PPT - Pro-Poor Tourism Partnership:

What is pro-poor tourism?

Pro-Poor Tourism (PPT) is tourism that results in increased net benefits for poor people. PPT is not a specific product or niche sector but an approach to tourism development and management. It enhances the linkages between tourism businesses and poor people, so that tourism's contribution to poverty reduction is increased and poor people are able to participate more effectively in product development. Links with many different types of 'the poor' need to be considered: staff, neighbouring communities, land-holders, producers of food, fuel and other suppliers, operators of micro tourism businesses, craft-makers, other users of tourism infrastructure (roads) and resources (water) etc. There are many types of pro poor tourism strategies, ranging from increasing local employment to building mechanisms for consultation. Any type of company can be involved in pro-poor tourism - a small lodge, an urban hotel, a tour operator, an infrastructure developer. The critical factor is not the type of company or the type of tourism, but that an increase in the net benefits that go to poor people can be demonstrated.

No sense in re-writing what is already so well written.

I found this information through a video that piggybacks on the idea of 'this or that'. Meaning, as a member of the industrialized rich world, I can use my money for this thing or I can use my money for that thing, cause, support, service, opportunity. Here is the video titled, Imagine What Tourism Could Do:

In having just watched the movie The Hunger Games, I was disgusted by the people living in The Capitol. Then I realized that in the grand scheme of the real world in which I live, I am one of those people living in The Capitol with colourful expensive clothes, ostentatious hairdos, outrageously large homes, immaculate streets, safe neighbourhoods, busy aestheticizing my life, and my stomach churned. To some people in other countries I, along with others in the developed world, are hoarding resources, money, power, control, all in the name of creating my beautiful life. I then realized that when I travel and I try to buy something in a market, and the first suggested price by the seller is $5,000 for a wooden mask (yes this actually happened) and I walk away shaking my head wondering to whom this individual thinks they are talking, the seller sees me as someone from The Capitol (developed nations), and I had a sense of what it might be like to be from the outlaying districts (developing nations). One group making the rules; the other trying to find then comprehend the rules. A moment where one's life experience clicks with other people's outward perceptions of those experiences.

This is my plug to try and change the balance of this imbalance. Choose a destination for your next travels that actually supports those in the world who live on $2.00 per day. Avoid all inclusive resorts that hide the realities of other people's experiences from your eyes. Participate in tours that support local people overtly. Make choices to spread around some of the money and joy that those paper pieces can bring. Take responsibility for your own tourism and your tourist monetary choices.

Just some thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I leave for my cruise across the ocean on May 3. I do this because it is cheaper than flying and I am supporting the hungry nations who wait on me while I am stuck on a ship. I will not ask you how your thesis is coming along.