What tourism and Holiday Industry does to a country and its people?
Tourism brings money in the economy and it generates income for the local people who rely on tourists and the income generated can make up a significant proportion of both private, local, and national incomes.
Tourism provides jobs, and one in 11 people in the world are working in the travel industry. Hotels, Bars, transport, activities, shops, Tour companies, Travel agents, and restaurants all need staffing.
It provides Infrastructure, New hotels, theme parks, new roads, rails rail networks, and local medical and education facilities that have been developed to promote tourism.
It promotes cross-cultural interaction: More than one billion people are now holidaying in different parts of the world and it is reducing the cultural gap between people and countries.
Does Tourism have only positive sides?
Many destinations or countries in the world heavily rely on tourism as the main source of income for the people and the economy. The main mistake of people and countries over the years was thinking, tourism only brings good and recently they realized that the same tourism can also be the source of many problems.
The negative side of tourism and Holiday Industry,
It causes damages to the environment, it comes along with risks like pollution, the loss of natural habitats, forest fires, and erosion. Ancient monuments, buildings, and heritage sites often struggle to cope with an increased number of tourists and always suffer wear and tear.
Cultural Loss and Cultural Clashes: The authentic culture and traditions have become commercialized and more often they are all about putting up a costume or acts to get the money from the tourists. Not all people respect the local traditions or customs and this results in the cultural clashes between locals and tourists.
Low income and Seasonal Fluctuations: Tourism may create jobs but in sectors like bar work, hotel service, restaurant serving often provided with low salary, and job cuts during non-season times. Tourism jobs are seasonable and insecure.
Imbalanced funding and over-dependence.
Over-dependence on tourism in the industry results in an imbalanced allocation of funds. The government funds being invested in tourist areas when it could be used more effectively elsewhere in a country and the people living away from such tourist areas are often neglected don’t get the reward of such investments.
Over Tourism: Over tourism results in high rents, overcrowded roads and streets, parks, monuments, and Environment become degraded. Destinations like Venice, Maya Bay Thailand, Machu Picchu Peru have had a larger impact on over-tourism over the years.
The Solution to Such Problems?
A decade ago, when people traveled abroad or visited friends in other countries, it was a big deal but Today, traveling abroad or holidaying in a foreign country is no longer considered as an occasional luxury. This changed everything and the term ‘Over Tourism’ and ‘bad tourists’ all started to come out of the baskets.
The truth is there is no definitive solution to the negative impact of tourism, especially over-tourism, nevertheless, there are measures and there are ways to reduce the negative impact of tourism and we can make each destination a better place ‘TO LIVE’ and TO VISIT with the importance given to “TO LIVE”.
The Solution to an extent!
Is Sustainable and Responsible Tourism!
What is Sustainable Tourism?
In simple terms, Sustainable tourism is the behavior of a traveler who visits a particular destination and leaving a positive impact on the environment, society, and economy.
You will switch off lights when leaving a room and you know that you should recycle your empty plastic bottles. You will not litter in your streets and you know where to put the trash, right?
But these simple things go out of the window when you visit a new place on holiday, you don’t switch off the lights in your hotel room, you cant find a thrash box when visiting a monument.
Therefore, Sustainable Tourism plays an important role in the Holiday Industry.
Sustainable Tourism relies on the measures in taking care of the environment, society, and economy. The principles and guidelines are intended to minimize the negative of tourism and maximizing the positive impact. The tourism industry is growing and evolving, and it has a significant impact on natural resources, culture and heritage, and consumption patterns.
There is a need for Sustainable and responsible measures and guidelines throughout the holiday industry and should be followed and implemented by all stakeholders including the local government, tourists, private companies, hotels, and resorts.
What tourist can do in Sustainable Tourism?
Do the below!
- Treat your hotel room same your home; switch off lights, save water, do not litter.
- Before you go, try to learn the local customs and traditions, and respect them.
- Do not take the photo of local without taking permission.
- Respect the local religion and beliefs.
- Learn a few words and phrases in the local language.
- Support and buy from local vendors, shops, and Artisans.
- Report child labor and Child Sex Tourism
- Reduce your carbon footprint
- Stay in locally owned hotels or consider home stays at least for one night.
- Carry reusable containers and bottles.
- Ride a bicycle whenever possible.
- Travel in Train whenever possible, train consumes ten times less.
- Travel in Small Groups.
Not the below ones!
- Do not litter, even if you see the locals do.
- Do not buy Illegal wildlife products or heritage antiques.
- Do not judge the entire country based on one individual.
- Do not show arrogance when talking to locals.
- Do not agree to Bribe officials.
- Do not show off your first world gadgets, especially if you are visiting remote villages or areas.]
According to the United Nations, World Tourism Organization “Sustainable tourism development guidelines and control practices apply to all forms of tourism in all types of destinations, including bulk tourism and the various niche tourism sections. Sustainability principles refer to the environmental, economic, and socio-cultural perspectives of tourism development, and a suitable balance must be stabilized between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability”.
And Sustainable Tourism Should:
- Make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes, and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity.
- Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.
- Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation.
Sustainable tourism will create successful development and provides a positive impact on Nature, Culture, and Local People.
Responsible Tourism is like Sustainable tourism that aims to leave a positive social, economic, and environmental influence on each Destination. Sustainable Tourism and Responsible Tourism both have the same mission and their implementation in different from each other.
Also known as ethical tourism, Responsible tourism is referring to the way a visitor, residents, and the local small business associate with a particular destination. Sustainable tourism addresses the holiday industry at a large level, Responsible tourism addresses it at a mini level.
Sustainable Tourism in Dubai
Dubai is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and with a plan of targeting 20 million visitors, Dubai has set a high mark of Sustainable Development and sustainable development tactics were initiated by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. UAE to become a Green Economy for Sustainable Development’.
Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST) is public-private cooperation, with the involvement of government, hoteliers, tourism companies, and residence. Dubai is implementing principles of sustainability into all aspects of the tourism sector and adopting green’ standards across its various infrastructural projects.
The best-known green destination in the UAE is in Al Ain, Explore the rich heritage of this desert oasis and visit Al Ain Fort, the Al Ain National Museum and the 4,000-year-old tombs at Hili Fort.
One of the most popular scuba diving in the country is in Fujairah, Diving aficionados will love the marine life and breathtaking underwater seascapes the United Arab Emirates.
Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is there to protecting wildlife for generations to come and the visitors explore and experience 6,000 inherent trees, grasses, and flora, as well as herds of oryx and other wildlife of Deserts. Al Maha Resorts and Spa a luxury accommodation inspired by ancient Bedouin camps is the centerpiece of visitors visiting the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.
One of the famous protected areas in the United Arab Emirates is ‘Al Batinah’ Island which represents the countries dedication to environmental sustainability and biodiversity. The island is home to coral reefs, sea cows, natural mangrove and hawksbill turtles, dolphins, Osprey, and Socotra cormorant.
Well preserved area’s like Bastakiya, Al Maktoum house, and Al Seef are the example of Dubai’s constant effort in preserving the heritage of the city and Dubai Museum is doing an excellent job with this regard.
Sustainability and Responsibility by Surprise Tourism LLC
We, as a leading DMC to the Middle East, we have an important role to play in Sustainability. We are responsible for the environment, culture, locals, and visitors and all about operating our day to day activities in a responsible manner. We are work in hand with the local, international bodies to implement measures of sustainable tourism into our activities and tours to provide the genuine experiences of the middle east to our guests.
Our Policies Towards Sustainable and Responsible Tourism.
- Adding protected and reserved areas in our tours and activities and providing information to all our guests regarding the natural and cultural features of visited destinations and their roles in the conservation of local ecosystems. For example, our Heritage Desert Safari inside Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and Our City tour covering Bastakiya, Al Maktoum House, Dubai Opera House.
- We educate the travelers and Train our guides and drivers in avoiding wear and tear to the visited area’s especially if the itinerary includes ancient building and heritage sites, we leave the place as we found them, no litter.
- We always promote Small Group Tours and Schedule it in such a way that the intended place to visit not to become overcrowded.
- We are trying to promote locally-owned hotels, restaurants, and other suppliers, and Our Guides are chosen based on the level of knowledge regarding the culture and heritage of the destinations.
- Providing our travelers and Guides with guidelines on how to avoid negative impacts while visiting sensitive areas like maintaining appropriate distance from wildlife, staying on trails to avoid crushing plants or causing erosion, keeping water and Energy uses to reduce the impacts on the environment.
- We comply with the countries’ Labour Law and provide equal opportunities to our staff irrespective of their gender, nationality, religion, and faith.
- We support and Promote Ecotourism in Dubai, curating our itineraries to popular ecotourism places in Dubai like Al Ain, Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve, and Al Yasat Marine Protected Area in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary and Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve in the emirate of Dubai. Wadi Al Helou, Meliha, and Wasit nature reserve in the emirate of Sharjah.
Our Socio-Economic Responsibility Policies
Responsible Tourism plays an integral part in what we do. We are always focused on promoting and selling Tours and Activities in the middle east which promotes the local culture and heritage and distribution of income equally among locals.
- We committed to providing employment, good working conditions, a fair wage, and the Development of our Employees from different backgrounds, and cultures. We strongly promote Gender equality within our office, and We provide opportunities to Local Guides and Suppliers.
- We educate our guests about local customs and cultural practices whilst respecting local dress and cultural requirements of each destination we promote.
- Our Small Group tours are designed in such a way where guests can sample local cuisine in local style.
- Our City Tours includes professional local guides and we are providing city tours in multiple languages to reduce the language barriers and promote our destinations universally.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Don’t be an annoying tourist who has no respect for the place or the place he or she is visiting, Instead, make difference in the place you travel, make a difference in their economy, the environment, and the people. Adopt and Practice Responsible travel policies and help us in making middle east destinations a better place for people to live in and a better place for people to visit.