Sustainable tourism

Sustainable travel has become an increasingly important concept as people become more aware of the environmental and social impact of their travels. Beyond reducing carbon footprints and preserving natural resources, sustainable travel can also significantly contribute to local economies and communities. This article will explore how sustainable travel practices can benefit local economies and communities, and how travelers can make a positive impact through their choices.

Sustainable tourism

Creating Local Job Opportunities

One of the most direct ways sustainable travel can contribute to local economies is by creating job opportunities for local communities. When travelers choose to stay in locally-owned accommodations, eat at family-owned restaurants, and purchase goods from local artisans, they are directly supporting the livelihoods of the people who live in the area. For example, a study by the World Travel & Tourism Council found that in 2019, the tourism sector supported approximately 334 million jobs, or 1 in 10 jobs globally, many of which were in local communities.

    • Staying in locally-owned accommodations
    • Eating at family-owned restaurants
    • Purchasing goods from local artisans

Preserving Cultural Heritage

Sustainable travel also plays a crucial role in preserving the cultural heritage of local communities. Many destinations around the world have rich histories, traditions, and customs that are in danger of being lost as a result of mass tourism and commercialization. By engaging in sustainable travel practices—such as respecting local customs, supporting cultural events, and visiting historical sites responsibly—travelers can help ensure that these cultural treasures are preserved for future generations.

Supporting Small Businesses

Small businesses are the lifeblood of local communities, and sustainable travel can provide crucial support to these enterprises. When travelers choose to buy products and services from small, independent businesses—such as local market vendors, family-owned guesthouses, and artisan workshops—they are directly injecting money into the local economy. This can help these businesses thrive, create more job opportunities, and contribute to the overall economic development of the community.

Reducing Environmental Impact

While the focus of sustainable travel is often on environmental conservation, it also has a direct impact on local communities. By minimizing damage to the natural environment, sustainable travel helps to protect the resources that local communities rely on for their livelihoods. For example, responsible waste management practices, energy conservation, and water conservation in tourism establishments can help ensure that local communities have access to clean water, fertile lands, and healthy ecosystems.

Case Study: Ecotourism in Costa Rica

A compelling example of how sustainable travel can benefit local economies and communities is the case of ecotourism in Costa Rica. By prioritizing sustainable practices and the preservation of its natural resources, Costa Rica has become a leading eco-friendly travel destination. As a result, the country has seen significant economic growth, with tourism becoming one of its primary sources of income. Additionally, many local communities have been able to thrive by participating in ecotourism initiatives, such as offering guided nature tours, running sustainable accommodations, and selling locally-made crafts.


Sustainable travel has the power to make a significant and positive impact on local economies and communities. By supporting small businesses, preserving cultural heritage, creating job opportunities, and reducing environmental impact, travelers can contribute to the economic development and well-being of the places they visit. As travelers, it’s important to be mindful of the choices we make and seek out opportunities to support sustainable travel practices, knowing that our actions can have a meaningful and lasting impact on local communities around the world.

Reach out here if you have a great accommodation or experience to offer on the Farmlike platform, or if you want to visit one of the farms.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published.