More Than Meets The Eye

The Tourism industry and tourists are more important than people imagine. The Global impact of each destination is demonstrated throughout the world from the economic point of view and social impact. The value creation is undisputable (like any other industry, of course, there are pros and cons, we need sustainable growth to balance the local communities and the travellers).

The Tourism Industry is interconnected with many global industries and sectors, and this capacity to stretch outside their circle is the power that boosts social and economic change. So why is tourism important in our life? Like a dynamo for our development as a society, tourism:

1. Improves our quality of life – the benefit of travelling is well documented, and is proven that travel brings happiness into our lives by reducing our stress levels and enhancing our wellbeing (is “food” for Body, Mind and Soul). We should name it the Happiness Industry instead of the Tourism Industry and measure the happiness levels and notice that tourism positively impacts locals as it has on travellers.

2. It opens the door to self-development – the possibility to have different local experiences and engage with different cultures and new ways of life is a unique tool to help broaden an individual thinking patterns and create empathy. In this sense, allow me to quote Helen Riess, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of Empathy Research and Training.

“If we are to move toward a more empathic society and a more compassionate world, it is clear that working to enhance our native capacities to empathise is critical; I’m hoping we can get back to travel and learn from the world—soon!”

3. Economic benefits for governments and the real economy – The (amounts) contribution raised by the tax contribution to the government (direct assistance) and the circular economy (10% of the global GDP is based on tourism). The indirect contribution is the money spent by travellers or corporate visitors on accommodation, food, leisure and other activities that contributes to the country’s development. This directly contributes to local communities (80% of the sector is made of SMEs – Small and Medium Enterprises – UNWTO).

4. Global Peace – In May 2022, during the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, the group said, “Tourism is not just travelling, it’s about peace.” This beautiful industry is a catalyst for peace, building bridges between countries (and cultures) inside out. The possibility to share values with people from different cultures helps to respect and reduces the gap between our differences.

5. Improves Net-Zero Emissions (Green Tourism) – The United Nations’ ambitious plans and in response to the resolutions from COP 26 in Glasgow, the United Nations World Tourism organisation is to create with their members the UN NetZero Tourism Facility and ecosystem. This means this global and “special” industry that connects people focuses on developing financial, political and social tools for green investments to support global change. What better industry than tourism? Imagine a NET Zero tourist destination concentrating on developing the local agriculture, wine and food (game-changer strategy)

Tourism has never been more relevant for sustainable growth across the world, focusing on modern and balanced management in preserving the local natural resources and culture (crafts & arts) to showcase the local identity to the world (Think Global Act Local). The Tourism Industry is not a stand-alone economic sector; it’s interconnected with several industries and the “powerhouse” capable of creating global peace and building an equal world.

NOTE: This article only expresses the opinion of its author, not representing the opinion or position on this matter of the entity/corporation with which it collaborates.

By André Oliveira – Director of Sales Ontravel Solutions