Tourism is one of the most effective ways of redistributing wealth, by moving money into local economies from other parts of the country and overseas. It brings income into a community that would otherwise not be earned.
Economic benefits resulting from tourism can take a number of forms including:
Employment may be associated directly, such as tour guide or managerial positions; or in supporting industries like food production or retail suppliers.
2. Increased spending
Increased spending in the community generated from visitors or tourism businesses can directly and indirectly promote the viability of local businesses.
3. Economic diversification
Tourism operators can play a role in highlighting the broad prosperity that tourism can bring to a community and will contribute to a greater understanding and respect for the value of tourism.
Economic diversification is, for many communities, an insurance policy against hard times. By offering an additional means of income, tourism can support a community when a traditional industry is under financial pressure, particularly where that community relies heavily on a single industry.
Case Study: Farmers markets
The popularity of farmers’ markets is increasing becoming a key driver of economic development in regional areas. Activities such as visits to farms and farmers’ markets, fruit picking and agricultural farm accommodation may provide important supplemental activities to struggling rural areas. Some of the benefits of Farmers’ Markets seen include:
Infrastructure including roads, parks, and other public spaces can be developed and improved both for visitors and local residents through increased tourism activity in a region.
Community identity and pride can be generated through tourism. A positive sense of community identity can be reinforced and tourism can encourage local communities to maintain their traditions and identity.
Providing financial or in-kind support for the conservation of the local environment and natural resources will enhance the reputation of any tourism business.
Tourism, particularly ecotourism, can place a greater focus on the conservation of natural resources through the recognition of their importance to visitor experiences and their economic value to the local community.