Local Travel sets its sights on becoming a key trend in 2010
In mid-March, the Local Travel Movement trumpeted a call to people and organisations with a passion for local travel and commitment to local travel values. The promising early reverberations of this new, international, free-to-join movement have already inspired more than 40 organisations to join a growing list of partners at www.LocalTravelMovement.com.
The Local Travel Movement was initiated by a core coalition of people from companies that believe Local Travel is greater than the sum of its parts. The Local Travel Movement is now already a rallying point through which, by working together, Local Travel companies can help give locals a real voice, engage travellers and develop a stronger ethical dialogue within the travel industry.
Given the diversity of partner companies, the Local Travel Movement is not overly descriptive. Rather than define ‘local travel,’ the Local Travel Movement simply places value on an approach to travel that is mindful of local people, the local environment, local culture and the local economy. It proposes four easy steps to becoming a local traveller:
• connecting with local people before, during and after a trip
• travelling in a manner that is sensitive to the local environment
• respecting local heritage and culture
• spending money locally.
While these actions may seem self-evident, the Local Travel Movement prioritises this conscious and conscientious shift in attention to the direct connection between visitor and local host. For travellers it’s a chance to get under a place’s skin (and let it under theirs), while also making the most of their travel time and saving money by spending locally. For host communities, it is vital for enforcing the beneficial qualities of tourism, maximising a general awareness of the local culture and minimising ‘leakage’ from the local economy.
The partners of the Local Travel Movement believe now is the time to embrace, develop, promote and establish Local Travel as the responsible way forward in tourism.