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How tourism can help local communities

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By Staff Writer

Tourism can help local communities in many different ways. A lot of the time, you hear about the damage that tourism does to communities. This happens when irresponsible travel companies bring tourists into an area without considering the needs of the local people.

Here are just some of the many ways in which tourism can help local communities.

Strengthens relationships
Tourism can strengthen relationships between local communities, travel companies, charities and government organisations. This is because tourism gets these people working together on all sorts of different projects. They can then team up to push forward projects that are best for local communities.

Provides local people with work and income
Tourism helps to provide local people with work. Many communities around the world completely rely on tourism to hold their economy together. Tourism brings wealth and money into some areas that desperately need a financial boost. Local people get jobs through tourism.

At Amahoro Tours, for example, “We employ many of the local people to help us with our tours and with our accommodation. Local people can also sell their products to tourists. We bring tourists and locals together, tourists end up buying things like hand woven baskets, local banana beer and arts and crafts,” says Greg Bakunzi, the managing director of the travel company.

Encourage sustainable development
Tourism, in some cases can also help to encourage sustainable development. Sadly, in a lot of instances, travel companies and authorities allow development that is not in the interests of local people. It is important to consider the impact any development will have on local communities.

Raise awareness of a destination
Some more unknown destinations can benefit from small increases in tourism because it raises awareness. This can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s a curse when tourism increases too quickly and has a negative impact on a destination. However, it can also help some communities to thrive by raising awareness and attracting more visitors.

Enable local people to interact with tourists
Tourism enables local people to meet lots of new people from around the world. They interact with people they may not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet and talk to. Both local people and tourists can teach each other many things.

Volunteering programmes for community projects
Some tourists and travellers like to get involved with charities and projects that benefit the local community. For example, wildlife conservation projects, teaching English to the locals and helping with farming initiatives

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