Community Based Tourism
Locals and Travelers During The Pandemic
2020 will always be remembered as the year of the global pandemic: the spread of Coronavirus is affecting societies, economies and environments all over the world. For the next weeks, travellers from all over the world will have to “dream” of future trips, make a lot of planning and stay home, waiting to come back to normality.
So, as travelers and as locals, how can we live more responsibly during this difficult period?
This moment of “pause” that the world is living can turn into an incredible benefit for local communities and travelers. In fact, for the next few months, many travelers will have to “evolve” into domestic travelers, that is, travel within the borders of their country or even their region. How exactly this trend will benefit both sides, travelers and local communities?
Let us think of local communities first.
Due to quarantine restrictions for preventing the spread of Covid-19, the small entrepreneurs of some touristic destinations have suffered great losses in terms of earnings, putting their own activities at risk of survival: craft shops, wine bars, handmade textile shops and many others have always drawn their greater gain from touristic flows. And, when it comes to non-touristic destinations, the situation is even more dangerous: because in any case, behind each closed market or store, there are people.
The economy needs to go back to spin. The current economic crisis has affected each one of us differently, therefore the choices we make from now on will make the difference. If you are locals, choose to purchase goods and services within your community (village, town or city); and, when not possible, give preference to products from your country. If you are travelers, choose to explore the surroundings of your place of origin – not just places with a tourist attraction. And make your purchases there.
What does a traveler gain from this new travel style?
Knowledge and responsibility. Knowledge, because we may give for granted the surroundings of the places where we live in. It’s not that easy to discover the unknown traditions of the small, ancient villages that surround our cities and the value of the natural areas that many of us are used to just observing from the window of a car, while moving from one place to another. Reduce your carbon emissions, hike more, use public transportations when needed: be a responsible traveler. This behaviour will help you to know yourself more, differently, and will surely give you more (different) ideas about the impact you want to have next time you will book a travel experience abroad. That future is not so far, so this period is perfect for “training” and planning! We can make a difference in the lives of others, by living and traveling sustainably, with a positive impact on the environment and local communities. Buy local brands, both for your clothes and for other products; buy fresh food, with KM0 certifications; buy natural cosmetics and avoid plastic. Before any type of purchase, always think about what you can reuse, recycle or donate to those who need it most (the network of non-profit associations is more active than ever in this period, everywhere).
As human being, we often declare we want to change the world. Now the world is changing itself: we are ready to answer to its call. Are you? 😊
DANIELA APPARENTE, ImpacTrip Local Experience Manager & Dreambuilder