Tourism is a process that involves traveling from one place to another and from one destination to another destination, mainly and especially for leisure, business, and even for recreational purposes within a period that is not more than one year.
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It also involves occupation and business process of getting information, accommodation, and even transportation services in a place temporarily. Moreover, tourism involves a short time movement from a place that is outside one’s residential area and work place to another place. There are various forms and types of tourism, which make tourism an enjoyable activity.
To begin with, there is domestic tourism that involves the movement of a tourist to destinations only within his or her country (without going to another country) for pleasure or other recreational purposes. This is also known as indigenous tourism, since it involves touring around the local place. Another form of tourism is inbound tourism, which involves a nonresident of a country traveling and touring places in the host country mainly for recreational purposes and other tourist services.
Lastly, there is outbound tourism that involves the resident of a country moving from his or her country to another country for pleasure and exploration of other tourist services in another country. Therefore, tourism involves movement from one destination to another away from an individual residential area to another place. In this movement, we meet indigenous people in their communities, resulting into interaction between tourists and the indigenous people. This paper will discuss some of the effects of tourism on indigenous people.
My first experience when traveling as a tourist was challenging, but I came to understand that tourism is one of the activities that have many benefits and some challenges to the indigenous people of the community I visited.
To begin with, from my experience, I found out that tourism has social, economic, and cultural effects on indigenous people. Tourism is one of the sectors that require more attention in order to understand the role that indigenous people play in the tourism sector and the relationship between them, hence coming up with the best implications from the issues discovered (Butler, 2007).
The first benefit I realized is economic benefit of tourism. Most of research publications show that the major benefit of tourism is the capital and money that tourists always spend on their journeys, through buying of food, accommodation, and other services. This money is always used by the indigenous people to cater for other basic needs, hence leading to economic development and alleviation of poverty levels for the indigenous people (Butler, 2007).
Secondly, tourism is one of the sectors that benefit the indigenous people through the provision of revenue and employment, especially to the local people around the tourist destinations. This reduces unemployment cases in most countries, leading to increased economic growth of the country (Butler, 2007).
Thirdly, tourism leads to cultural benefits; for example, when a tourist visits an area, there is usually emergence of diversity of culture due to intermarriages and other social experiences that can include exchange of languages and even sharing of information and knowledge. There are also spiritual and aesthetic benefits where different values are added to the emerged cultures, leading to social benefits. This usually promotes the community and indigenous people’s development, leading to more stable communities (Butler, 2007).
On the other hand, tourism is also associated with some adverse and negative effects that always affect the indigenous people. Some of the disadvantages of tourism to the indigenous people include, environmental destruction and degradation, cultural destruction or erosion of cultures, dangerous lifestyle (for example, introduction of use of some illegal drugs), and unstable market because it only provides seasonal market and job. Here I will start by mentioning some of the environmental problems caused by tourism.
Accordingly, tourism is one of the sectors that lead to environmental degradation to the indigenous people due to noise pollution, incidences of forest fires, and even the destruction of sand dunes in some areas (Butler, 2007). Secondly, tourism mostly leads to erosion of cultures in some cases where individual indigenous people interact with tourists.
This is because tourists always come with some diverse cultures that indigenous people usually want to emulate, thereby leading to erosion of their culture. At times, some cultures are not ethical, leading to loss of morals by the indigenous people. Again, in some cases, the indigenous people may even lose their language and start emulating the tourists’ languages (Butler, 2007).
Lastly, tourism leads to poor marketing due to the seasonal jobs that it provides. In addition, tourism sometimes leads to unstable market because it is only available during some seasons and is very limited some times. Besides, some tourists always come with unethical businesses that are not accepted by the country government, leading to conflict between the indigenous people and the government (Butler, 2007).
In conclusion, although there are some disadvantages of tourism, the benefits tourism brings to the indigenous community and people, far outweigh the disadvantages. Therefore, it is important that more marketing strategies be included by the indigenous people in order to attract more tourists to increase economic development of the indigenous communities.
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With the current availability of internet and social media, it is important that the indigenous people take advantage of this technology and use it constructively in order to promote the tourism sector; this will bring more profits to them.
If possible, it will also be very important if the government can provide marketing scheme strategies in order to promote tourism industry to continue benefiting the locals and indigenous people (Butler, 2007). In addition, the indigenous people should also enhance their knowledge expansion through trainings in order to provide better tourist services, as it is only through education that the indigenous people will benefit fully from the tourism sector and services provision.
In my opinion and feelings, it will be very important for the government to provide some financial support to the indigenous people to raise their tourism business and to have decent living conditions that would attract tourists to their destinations (Butler, 2007).
In addition, I will say that it will be very important again if proper developmental plans including good security provision, equitable treatment to all without discrimination, and proper awareness is included among the indigenous people when making tourism policies and other frameworks.
Furthermore, the challenges that the tourism industry comes with should be properly addressed to the extent of involving dialogue between tourists and the indigenous people to ensure that their mutual needs and goals are properly addressed. The indigenous people’s right to land and other resources that the tourism industry always undermines should be properly addressed (Butler, 2007).
Therefore, in my view and opinion, the indigenous people benefit a lot from the tourism industry although there are some disadvantages to some extent. Therefore, it is important that more marketing procedures be employed in order to promote the indigenous people in the provision of tourism services.
Butler, R. T. (2007). Tourism and Indigenous Peoples, Issues and Implications. MA, Burlington, USA: Butterworth-Heinemann, Elsevier.