According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the world’s travel and tourism economic contribution are at approx. 12 billion USD, or 11.7% of the world’s GDP, in 2018. The global tourism sector offers 300 million people, directly and indirectly, employment opportunities. It is expected that an annual growth rate of 2.5% will create an additional 150 million jobs by 2028.
These are gigantic figures. Hotel chains, travel agencies and national tourism boards promote their products and services to people around the world. The steady rise of globalisation has allowed more people than ever before to travel. And as we can see in China, a rapidly growing middle class will enable millions of people to travel around the globe.
And at the same time, as we explore unknown places, we might recognise the struggle that lot’s of small businesses in local communities suffer. Yet, they make a large contribution to the local culture and ambient that we often admire on Instagram.
As world citizens and travellers, we are aware of the impact we can leave behind to those communities. They live through our activities. Our dedication to expanding horizons and views on this world that we may have never seen before.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can support local communities around the world while you are travelling.
Eat local food in local restaurants
There is no better way to get authentic food much more affordable prices than in local restaurants. Why the need to spend so much money in your hotel or in a famous food-chain restaurant? One does not need to spend thousands of dollars on a culinary art trip to Italy for two weeks when a local, hidden and apparent unknown place can achieve the same outcome for your activities. On top of that, you support family businesses with your visit.
You also want to get the real insider tips and recommendations in your region? Then, why don’t you take the chance to have a little chat with the waiter? You will be amazed how your trip will be enriched after your visit – also, don’t forget to leave a little tip. Most family businesses rely on the support of its visitors. In return, they will be served with unmasked hospitality, authenticity and kindness that is priceless.
Book local accommodations
You don’t only want to hang out with locals, but also live like one? No worries, here’s the deal: Don’t go to hotel chains. Look for accommodations on Airbnb, small hotels, or maybe you can rent a little house somewhere for yourself. Get in touch with the local ambient and interior, you won’t get any regrets. There are also some other positive aspects:
- In comparison to conventional hotels, local accommodations may be cheaper and more supportive for your budget.
- You get in touch with the flair and may see things a bit different.
- You will get a better understanding of how and why locals live the way they live it.
For example, Mark has often shared with me the most exciting places, only through Airbnb. After all, you want to get the feeling that you are part of the local area you are visiting, and perhaps, want to avoid the typical tourist stamp on your forehead at all.
Visit places during off-peak sessions
Family and small businesses are especially thankful when you visit areas during off-peak sessions. That is, visiting places while the rest has to turn on-site or go to university. For sure, there is a reason why a chunk of folks is turning to a particular area: It’s holiday time, it’s the summer (or winter) session, it’s Christmas. Places are crowded with tourists. Accommodation and restaurants double their prices. You just want to leave this whole mess after a few days.
It’s sometimes worth the time to put some planning into your travel activities. When you travel alone, it’s even better. Just consider when and where major holiday seasons are, both in your country/ state as well as in the country you are going to visit. Check out the weather conditions that are outside of the peak session and give it a try!
You will not only get things for a lower price, but you will also especially have the time for yourself and no noisy and crowded place full with tourists who are chasing the next top spots for their 30 followers on whatever social media platform.
Travelling is about getting and giving some things. Let’s keep in mind we can be very supportive to people, groups and communities who especially rely on visitors. And being supportive doesn’t even need to cost much when you spend a little bit of time figuring out when and where you want to go.
Header Image: Jiemei Lin / unspleash.com