How Can Tourism Support Rural Economies?

This year, World Tourism Day marked the theme “Tourism and Rural Development”, celebrating the sector’s unique ability to drive economic development and provide opportunities outside of big cities, including in those communities that would otherwise be left behind. World Tourism Day 2020 also highlighted the important role tourism plays in preserving and promoting culture and heritage all around the world.

At The Long Run, we have endless case studies of how and why tourism is so well placed to support rural communities. In many cases, tourism allows people living in rural areas to earn an income from protecting their cultural and natural heritage. The alternative would be mass migration into cities, which has devastating consequences for the fate of the ecosystems, wildlife, and people left behind.

We’re also aware that tourism can damage rural communities, and that the interests of the local community and environment must always come first. Tourism must be designed by and provide to rural communities, rather than rural communities serving a tourism industry they have little control over. To better understand how we ensure that tourism supports rural development in the best possible way, we reached out to our Affiliate Sumba Hospitality Foundation. They’ve answered some of our questions in the video below: