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There a Margin in ProPoor Tourism

As Jon Mitchell of the ODI says, all the major tourism players are now realising that there a margin in ProPoor Tourism.

ProPoor TourismThe CSR departments of our major tour operators and airlines like Virgin and First Choice are creating schemes to show their softer faces to both local communities and their customers. Hotel groups are looking at methods of local purchasing so that their guests can sleep more easily in their suites. Major tourism sustainability charities like the Travel Foundation are working with trade groups such as the Federation of Tour Operators to devise schemes that will leverage tourism benefits to impoverished communities.

All the development politicians know that tourism can be a really powerful driver of prosperity and economic growth the same fact that led the World Bank to develop soft loans to finance the initial creation of ourism-as-we-know it In 1960 and 0 Spain, North and East Africa, the Caribbean and Bali amongst other beneficiaries.

And the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the much-lauded UK hink Tank of the Yearis showing the way to ProPoor Tourism with policy documents, visions, meetings and blogs.

More importantly, it seems that all this enthusiasm is actually shared by the marketplace. In this era of rganic ustainableand air Trade we now have a more educated clientele who have the ability and information to refuse to take their pleasure at others expense and force us all to listen.

But where are the governments of the tourism host countries? It is actually their duty to make sure that tourism benefits their people. Without local enabling legislation and capacity building all the current efforts are simply charitable gestures by hard-nosed commercial operators who don have any true commitment to the destination. How sustainable is that?

After 50 years of exponential tourism development, we now have a pretty good understanding of how the economics of the industry work. It time to share this with destination governments so that they can truly see how the game is played.

Valere Tjolle
[email protected]


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