How To Spend Money While Traveling And Make Sure Your Money Stays Locally
Foreign Leakage In Tourism – A Regretful Phenomenon
A country’s tourism industry is an excellent means to earn foreign exchange. From expensive flights and seeking suitable accommodation to paying for food and various activities – a tourist spends a lot on their trip. But sadly, most of this money goes into the pockets of giant corporations instead of benefiting the local communities they visit.
According to various studies, as much as 95 percent of the income generated through tourists fails to end up in its rightful place – the economy of a developing country. Instead, somehow or the other, this major chunk makes its way into foreign hands. In the industry, this unfortunate occurrence is referred to as leakage.
Who – Or Rather, What – Is Behind Foreign Leakage?
But why does leakage occur, and how can you prevent it? Well, in simple words, this happens because the tourism industries of developing countries are heavily dominated by big, prosperous, foreign businesses.
Bypassing the country’s financial systems entirely, these big businesses prey upon the income generated by tourism and take it away from the local communities before they have had a chance to reach the consumers.
And with their huge marketing and PR campaigns, these foreign corporations make the survival of local service providers extremely difficult.
How To Get Your Tourism Expenditure To Stay Within The Local Communities?
However, this is not to say that there is no way around this problem. A socially aware tourist can help tackle this issue with their informed choices, helping the local communities to get the most out of the tourism in their areas.
If you are an independent traveler, some small yet impactful conscious decisions on your part can help balance the scales. Opting for locally-owned guest houses instead of big multinational hotel chains is one way to ensure that the money goes to the locals instead of foreign powers.
Eating at local restaurants and hotels, choosing local transportation, shopping locally instead of turning towards companies that resell the products of local artisans, and hiring locals to guide you on your tours are other ways to help the situation.