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Why empower local communities in the field of tourism?

Why empower local communities in the field of tourism?

The tourism industry has undergone a significant transformation, evolving from being exclusive to travel agencies to a more diverse landscape, including e-commerce.

In the past, booking a flight ticket meant visiting the airport or going through third-party travel agents.

However, with time, direct purchases from airline websites became the norm, prompting travel agencies to adapt and remain relevant by offering bundled services through travel fairs that you see in malls and exhibition halls worldwide.

Then came the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, bringing the world to a sudden standstill for three years. With travel restrictions in place and no incoming or outgoing flights, individuals faced an unfamiliar situation full of uncertainties.

Despite adapting to the “new normal,” the desire to explore, learn, reflect, get inspired, and recharge persisted.

The pandemic also highlighted the economic impact, leading to business closures and job losses. Depending solely on sporadic government handouts proved unsustainable in the long run.

To address this, the question arose: How can we create a new economy and empower individuals to sustain themselves?

Gig platforms and logistics played a crucial role during the pandemic, but a deeper exploration was needed.

As the world gradually reopened for travel, people seized the opportunity to move around, even if it was limited to domestic destinations, realizing that travel is about more than luxurious hotels, gourmet meals, and shopping sprees.

Contemporary travelers increasingly seek meaningful experiences that go beyond creating memories; they desire a journey where their purchases contribute positively to the communities or causes of the destinations they explore.

Acknowledging that tourism is integral to any country’s economy, the focus shifted to empowering locals who possess intimate knowledge of their towns and cities.

Shifting earning power from travel agencies to locals not only creates new job opportunities but also ensures a more equitable distribution of income.

While this approach may not align with staunch capitalist ideals, it supports those in need.

Travel agencies, in response, must adapt by collaborating and sharing or focusing on their core competency—bundled packages. In the end, everyone benefits, with the elimination of business monopolization being the key distinction.

This philosophy led to the creation of Helolokal, driven by the recognition of income and opportunity gaps.

The platform aims to bridge these gaps by empowering local communities and fostering a more inclusive and sustainable tourism economy.

To learn more how Helolokal empower the locals, refer to our previous article HERE.

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