tourism |ˈto͝orˌizəm| (noun) the commercial organization and operation of vacations and visits to places of interest.
What does tourism mean to me?
Tourism means sharing. Sharing your culture, your lands, and your life with others. It means sharing new discoveries and old traditions. Letting people into your community, your town, your city and your world for that brief period of time.
Tourism means understanding. Understanding a new perspective, a new way of life. Understanding that there is no one, right way to live life. Understanding a people and a place beyond what the media dictates*. The world is a large, diverse place and for me, these short trips have given me the desire to learn and understand as much as I can.
*As much as one can learn from such a short period of time. One’s understanding of a place is greater than it previously was.
Tourism means connection. Tourism, even if only for a short period of time, connects people from all over the world. This connection should help us strive to be a more open, tolerant world. I know I’m extremely idealistic, but it can’t be denied that the world is closer than ever. Economically and politically, we are all affected by one another. Whether that is a good thing or bad thing, everyone has there own opinions.
Tourism means growth. Growth for the individual, but ideally it should also mean growth for the community. Let’s all make a conscious effort to partake in ethical and sustainable tourism practices.
Happy World Tourism Day to all!