Sustainable Tourism Blog Series 2/4: Economic Empowerment

Updated: Dec 18, 2020

Tourists in a traditional Nepali cooking workshop with our partner, Seven Women.

Tourism is one of the largest industries in the global economy that can contribute to local economies and greater employment opportunities.

Tourism allows for cross cultural exchange and having new global experiences between travelers and the local people that they meet along their travels. It is also a significant industry that economically impacts travel destinations. Tourism paves the way for more jobs within the retail, hospitality, tour guide, and business sectors. Greater numbers of people want to have new and cross cultural travel experiences in our globalized world, which is shaping tourism to expand as an industry, integrate with other relevant job sectors, and hire more people. There are also greater job opportunities because of a higher need and demand for quality infrastructure and services such as transportation, meal plans, clean water, and proper sanitation facilities.

Role of Tourism in Developing Countries

While we might not always be aware of the economic impacts of our travels, this is not unknown to developing countries that often depend on the tourism sector for bringing in much of the profits they make nationally and contributing to their overall GDP. Tourism serves as a major source of economic growth for local communities in your travel destinations. Here we’ll explore these major economic benefits and see how tourism connects to the growth of local economies.

Greater Job Opportunities and Employment

One of the greatest benefits of sustainable and responsible tourism is that it is inclusive of local communities and reinvesting in their economies. Travel is a large and highly profitable industry that can drive greater income, financial security, and employment. It also allows for greater long term economic independence for marginalized groups, such as rural women and people with disabilities, since this industry offers various employment and business opportunities that are better solutions than simply receiving assistance in the form of financial aid.

Creates More Inclusive Job Market for Marginalized Groups

Another significant benefit of tourism is that it provides an inclusive job market, better opportunities, and support that empowers women and other disadvantaged groups. The tourism industry allows these groups to gain and implement important skills training and education that can help them earn jobs, become financially independent, and even build their own businesses which is important since they no longer have to be dependent upon external aid or services for the long term. Oftentimes, services such as traditional clothes making, cooking, pottery, and tour guiding are the kinds of work within the overlap between tourism and sectors such as hospitality and management that such groups get involved in that are in consistent demand. This paves the way for jobs that are both stable and allow for financial independence. Thus, tourism provides sustainable solutions to bridging the poverty gap as well as empowering women and disadvantaged groups to become stronger leaders and gain financial security.

How We’re Reinvesting in Our Travel Destinations’ Local Economies

At The World Within Us we value making a long lasting impact that drives economic growth that reaches local residents, helps their businesses, and opens up opportunities for untapped talent and markets for disadvantaged groups. Here, we’re spotlighting three of our trip partners and how we’re working with them to deliver sustainable impact while also generating income for local women and their communities.

Seven Women in Nepal: We’ve selected working with Seven Women because of their commitment to employing local Nepali women and skills training in artisanship, cooking, and various workshops that help these marginalized women make breakthroughs in leadership and financially support themselves and their families.

Solar Sister in Tanzania: We support this grassroots organization that provides rural women training and opportunities to become entrepreneurs who supply and deliver affordable energy solar panels to remote communities.

It’s My Egypt Female Tour Guides in Egypt: We also ensure that females are included in leadership positions and roles that provide stable income within tourism. We hire female tour guides in our trips such as in Egypt, where we will tour the Great Pyramids and learn more about the ancient history of Cairo.

Tourism can create lasting economic impacts that benefit small businesses and marginalized groups in developing countries. The growing shift away from mass tourism reinforces the need for travel agencies to be more inclusive of local populations and provide opportunities that allow for better integration and flourishing for all.