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Simple steps for tourism industry to achieve positive change, success and sustainability this year

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” —John Pierpont “J.P.” Morgan.

To ensure the long-term success of any business is to stay relevant. The world and any industry in the world are constantly shaping up to get better. To stay relevant to these changes, it is important to have an awareness about these changes and take efforts to adopt them. In this new year, let's decide to achieve such milestones that would ensure the success of the business. Tourism industry all over the world is adapting sustainability in each type of tourism practice at a very fast pace. It is high time to understand these changes and start implementing them.

Tour operators, destinations, tourism providers, and travellers are the ones around whom the industry revolves. To stay relevant in the changing industry, it is important to have a holistic identity for each of their activity. Here are a few suggested choices to make that will give new purpose to the same old activities -

1. Tour operators

Environmental - Favour purchasing recyclable, returnable and reusable goods.

This choice not only leaves a less negative impact on the environment but it is also a cost-saving option for the business.

Community - Choosing local over outsourcing - partnering with suppliers that employ locals and provides locally produced items.

This choice ensures benefit to the local community and also enhances the product value. Choosing local and communicating the purpose of such practices to the customer adds value to the overall experience.

Economic - Growth in sales by making products accessible to a wider audience

Making available more facilities such as having a wheelchair, kids sections, etc you can engage with a wider audience and grow the demand for the product. Promoting such choices in the market and training the staff to practice it can create a strong positive image of the business.

2. Tourism destinations

Environmental - Taken account of the protection of biologically sensitive areas

While the authorities are welcoming tourists in the region, it is important to be aware of the carrying capacity of the destination and what areas do the tourists have access to. A careful approach will ensure that destination and eventually, the tourism remains sustainable and does not collapse at one point.

Community - Engaging with the local community in tourism development and creating equal opportunities to all the segments of the community

Encouraging equal participation from all segments of the community will build up the integrity of the destination. When more segments of the community are involved in decision making, more tourism experiences can be offered to the tourists and more will be the positive benefits from the tourism activities.

Economic - Have a policy in place for equal dispersion of the economic benefits from tourism to the community

Creating more employment opportunities in the region can help communities to gain benefits from tourism. The benefits from tourism should be distributed in such manner that a fair share goes to the local community and we are able to see the positive effects on the local economy e.g. reduction in poverty, development of facilities, etc.

3. Tourism suppliers

Environmental - Minimum use of resources to create products or offer services. Tourism product suppliers such as hotels, restaurants, shops, transportation, etc. can inculcate techniques for water conservation, controlled greenhouse emission and making provisions for cleaner and more resource efficient products.

Community - Communities involvement in product making, employment for locals and using resources sourced from locals.

By making such choices, suppliers can offer value-added, diverse and authentic products for tourists. Having locals involved would in the process and using local resources is mutually beneficial for community and service providers.

Economic - Practicing fair pricing of products

Ensuring that products are sold at a reasonable price and the profit margins are not exponential makes all stakeholders benefit fairly from the sale of tourism products. This also helps to generate good demand and value for money experiences, thus ensuring sustainability.

4. Tourists/Travelers

Environmental - Taking efforts towards leaving no negative footprints in destinations Tourists can be careful to mitigate the bad impacts they leave behind by carrying reusable, non-plastic items, choosing public transport or fuel efficient vehicle over private transportation.

Community - Making choices to contribute to the local economy. Purchasing locally produced food, artifacts, services give the real experience of the local culture and intensifies the overall experience. Participating in local activities that is part of local lifestyle gives exposure to different cultures.

Economic - Being mindful about the spending in the destination In tourism, travellers/tourists are the ones who spend and other tourism stakeholders get economically benefited. By being mindful about the spending, tourists can contribute to positive economic growth of the region. E.g. children getting access to good education due to the economic growth of local families.

All of the above components of the tourism industry can be successful in achieving their goal only when these initiatives are promoted and communicated efficiently among one another. Therefore, with the change in the approach, it is important to speak about the ideology behind each change.

Wishing everyone a very happy and sustainable new year!

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