Support Local Economies
Support Local Economies
So money and profits are kept at the destination you’re visiting, in lieu of funds going offshore to other countries, you can help support local economies in various ways.
Stay at locally owned accommodation properties rather than large international hotel chains. See if there are any local guest houses available or home stays on offer in the area you’re visiting. It may take a bit more time to research and book a property, however the local people will generally be more welcoming of guests and also provide more genuine sights and information of the destination.
When you’re looking to eat, find locally operated restaurants/cafes that are owned by locals, as well as have local staff. Or even better try to find local families that offer home cooked meals, which is generally the case for home stay accommodation / guest houses. Eating local food, beverages and produce can provide a great variety to your diet, and can expand your current food pallet, and can also pick up new recipes ideas when you go back home. You may not find a huge range or selection when you travel to certain destinations, that doesn’t matter though, still try to eat the local food where possible. Find out where the locals eat and what they eat, for a more authentic experience too. try to avoid fast food chains when in cities, as they’ll always be around for years to come, yet smaller local businesses may not be.
If you’re booking a tour or guide, seek out a local tour operator, local guide or driver. Locals will provide a more unique experience and generally have more local knowledge too. They may even take you to attractions that only the locals know of, and off the beaten track. For instance, my local driver in Jamaica took us to a local bar one afternoon where we learnt how to play dominoes with locals for hours, it was a great afternoon.
When looking for souvenirs, if buying something to take home is your way of making a memory, try to find local craft markets over large shopping centres. Local handcrafters offer handmade items, generally produced in their community with locally sourced materials, that are not generic so you’ll be selecting something that is unique to your choice.
These are just some tips on how you can support local economies, how will you provide your support.