Now that 2017, the year for Sustainable Tourism is over, the question that comes up is now what? Good news is that one of the hottest trends in tourism this year is a win-win solution for both visitors and sustainability, pushing the agenda further and beyond 2017.
More and more people are getting away from the desire to see the perfect picture of a certain city, craving more local experiences to see and feel all the good, the bad and the ugly a destination has to offer. Along with the rise of solo travel, tourists are off to exploring uncharted territories, away from the main tourist areas and off to narrow streets and small corner bars. This shift is even noticed from the industry side, trying to position itself to offer experiences rather than services of flights or accommodation.
This locality trend doesn’t just let visitors experience “the life as a local”, this direct contact with the local community helps the development of its craft, culture, economy and all that is in between. This shows the direct effect of tourism on the social aspect of sustainability. The rise of this trend has promising chain-reaction effects, locality helps social inclusiveness and awareness by letting the visitor actively participate in local traditions, building bridges across cultures. It also helps create jobs, especially in mid-size cities or in emerging countries. It also helps create ties to this destination and community, raising the sense of responsibility towards it and its environment.
We welcome this trend with open arms and look forward to see how it evolves, how small cities and unknown places get to become trendy and cultural value is spread across the world. The motto now is living like a local, one destination at a time!