All travelers are tourists. Yes, you are too. Even though you may try to fit in and blend with the locals: the moment you cross borders you are one of them. Both watching art in the Louvre and doing an all nighter in the London party scene can be part of tourism. Fortunately, a growing amount of travelers is aware of the impact international tourism can have on the community they visit. Socially and ecologically responsible, or ‘fair’ tourism is on the rise. What does this mean for the international tourist? What are international examples of fair tourism? And what is our responsibility as a tourist? We will discuss this in a new episode in our program series on Fair Tourism.
Wina Smeenk is a lector at Inholland university of applied sciences and lab lead at the urban leisure and tourism lab in Amsterdam. She specializes in developmental co-design, with a focus on empathy. With Wina we will discuss how empathyis important in enhancing fair tourism. When we as hosts understand how our opinions on tourists are formed, we might be able to empathize with how other host countries perceive us when we are the tourist.
Joining from South Africa this evening is Siviwe Mbinda, a tour guide and entrepreneur from Cape Town. In his years as a guide, Siviwe learned that visitors are more likely to remember how a place makes them feel than the factual information they are told when they visit a place. When you take a tour with him you visit the townships and get to know the people and listen to their stories. Siviwe is also founder of the Happy Feet Youth Project, which helps uplift local children through education, good nutrition, leadership and team building. By taking a tour with Siviwe you are directly supporting this project.
We will further discuss entrepreneurship in tourism with Lonneke De Kort, founder and CEO of the sustainable accommodations platform Book Different. With her passion for sustainability she aims to make the tourism industry more socially and environmentally concious by encouraging tourists to book a sustainable accomodation. Her goal is to raise awareness and make fair tourism more mainstream.
As a psychiatrist Dirk de Wachter has been fascinated by the urge to travel of modern society. People often travel as far away as possible, but still expect the comfort of their own homes. We want different experiences but also familiarity. We want to travel to warm destinations but with airconditioning. We want peace and quiet, meanwhile travelling in crowded airplanes to crowded cities. Do we travel because we want to, or because we feel like we have to?
Signe Jungersted is founder of Group NAO, a Denmark based agency who work to change and improve the tourism industry. NAO designed and developed a new strategy in 2020 that announces the end of tourism as we know it. Signe is a visionair on strategy, trends and destination development.