One more year at Fitur meeting with old friends and getting to know some new professionals. This year I´ve also been able to attend several seminars of FiturTech and FiturGreen and the general message put forward is that the type of visitor is changing. Their motivations and what they look for are normally a memorable experience and we need to adapt in order to fit into this new niche that is clearly increasing in strength.
Here is a little thought;
- In the nineties, the question was; where do you travel? The place was important, I would say I´ve been to this location or this destination.
- At the beginning of this century the question evolved to; what did you do? Understanding that the destination is secondary and what is important is the activity, skiing, hiking, golf, among others.
- Finally tourist of today and more importantly visitors of tomorrow seem to add to these two questions, how did you do it? & with Whom? Putting the emphasis and the importance on the experience and how unique. Move away from the traditional trip and look for something different with local people who know the destination and are able to offer something exclusive, creating that memorable experience to the visitor.
As a responsible traveller and entrepreneur who always try to put the emphasis of promoting a sustainable tourism that puts into value the natural and cultural resources, promoting the local business and the local heritage it seems our time has come to stay. This type of tourism also helps to develop remote and deprived areas as the tourist expenditure goes directly to the local economies helping them to thrive while preserving their local heritage. It also requires lees investment in infrastructure as it uses the local systems and reduces economic speculation; meaning everybody wins.
I have met with former colleagues and have met many new consultants and travel agents that promote sustainable management practices and local development through cultural activities. There is a strong commitment to increase training for heritage interpretation and for local guides. There is also promotion of local practices, local architecture, reduction in energy consumption and use of local materials and investment in more efficient technologies.
With this post I appeal to all those friends and to all those colleagues looking to travel in a responsible way to continues to encourage this type of tourism and help us to get out of the difficult economic situation that many of us are facing.
As a final thought I´d like to think that its bee the actual crisis the turning point that has made us be aware of what really is vital. What is the most important reason why we travel? In my case and I think every day of more travelers; is to find ourselves through discovering other cultures and ways of life. The most important factor and what makes a trip memorable, leaving a trace in us; is always the people.
Let’s promote and preserve cultural and natural diversity, not only for the future generations but simply out of pure selfishness in order to be able to learn from them and be able to discover ourselves in the process.
Tourism of the Future: is the Responsible Tourism; the truly memorable tourism!