Destinations all over the world are seeing an uptick in tourism. These destinations are both gaining from and losing with this phenomenon. Many like Arkansas, for example, has seen a great surge in tourism.
Tourism and travel should involve you in green tourism. This can be more than not leaving trash on a beach. Learn to visit, have fun and learn without causing cultural problems.
Local Tourism Destinations Boom
This seems an unusual destination. The flow of tourists that descends on the small town of Stuttgart has skyrocketed. Never before has this town known as the world's duck and rice capital have seen so many tourists. People walk about the streets, even in residential areas, taking pictures of everything.
Something has happened in the local travel agency industry. To keep up with the demand of tourists, many have begun to promote tours of towns right here in the United States. Some tours to small towns that most people have never heard of like Stuttgart. They promise is to give tourists a true sense of the United States, someplace they have never before seen. – or even known existed.
The town of Stuttgart can boast of being the rice capital of the world. It has huge rice mills and high production that provides ample supplies of rice to the entire nation.
As everyone knows, rice fields are water and water attracts ducks. Stuttgart is able to provide the most well-known hunting areas for mallard duck in the world. The amazing part for us is the small town with a population of 20,000 demands such attention. The town had always been famous for sportsmen but now you see people from the entire world. This is only one example of how the local tourism scene is in a boom phase.
Alternative Destinations Like Russia and China Popping Up
Russia and China are particularly desirable destinations for tourist in the world. Today even more tourists are heading to these and other countries. Many come to see the sights, visit museums, etc. Many want to develop a deeper understanding of the customs and beliefs of other cultures.
Everyone who has visited places such as Rome remembers scurrying around the city. They hoped to get a glimpse and a photo of every landmark. Some exhausting like climbing that narrow winding stair to look down from the dome of the Vatican.
These frantic efforts leave the traveler not only exhausted. But they also fail to have a vivid recollection of the places. The poor traveler lies back on the hotel bed in a daze and once back home, only has the photos. The traveler can no longer remember with clarity what he/she saw.
Experienced travelers agree that it's much better to remain more relaxed. Strolling city streets, eat in local restaurants and watch the people and homes around us. St. Peters Cathedral or the Coliseum in Rome is wonderful to behold. Sitting in a local park and watching the locals as they go about their daily routines, can be rewarding as well. This also helps to increase our understanding of other people an cultures in the world. How can we understand other cultures without coming in contact with them?
New Destinations Trends Point to Local Culture Interaction
Researchers insist that more and more tourists want to see how locals live and work and play. Not rushed through a tour led by a tour guide. Independent travel to different destinations can be more rewarding than packaged programs. Even with the language barrier, it is so rewarding to engage in conversation with locals. Learn how people have lived their entire lives in the same town. These are the things you will never forget.
We mentioned China and Russia as part of this type of travel. this trend in independent travel isn't limited to those countries alone. Millennials in almost every country will say they want to see authenticity in tours. And now it's possible to organize a destination through a variety of travel websites. It is possible to arrange for a destination such as the poorer sections of Rio. Almost any other destination in the world is now accessible through tours.
Some believe that the phrase authentic tourism is an oxymoron. The public discovers or learns of a place of interest, as well as the sights available in the world. The Eiffel Tower to the Taj Mahal, as examples. The locals begin to adapt to this new source of income and that changes the destination.
Culture Interaction and It's Pros and Cons
The entire culture changes from the way it was before the influx of tourists. The place will have undergone a change in its own culture as it struggles to sell itself as a destination. This tends to exploit the town or locality for the sake of tourist, thereby no longer is it authentic. We do believe that this is in most cases is progress. That is something that takes place with or without the influx of money.
There is a middle ground. A strategy called co-creation permits travelers to create their own experience. They stay in a hotel owned and operated by a local business person. They only dine in local restaurants offering local dining rather than tourist menus. The visitor may visit zones that tour guides never show. This allows progress without cultural change.
A good question for the tourist destinations would be. In what way can I make my destination more interesting? Most tour guides can certainly present memorable experiences. Any traveler can revisit the usual tourist destinations and gain cultural knowledge. No single destination offers one single aspect. There can be different experiences from a little thoughtful consideration.
Here are a few useful ideas for the traveler that apply to all of their destinations. Some of these will make the journey much more enjoyable and memorable as well.
Travelers Destinations and The Hands-On Approach
Experienced travelers say that the tourist should get lost in the local environment at all of their destinations. One traveler relates a cheerful experience when he made Japan his destination. Wandering about the city and speaking no Japanese, he saw a bar that could have been a bar right here in America. A bar that might have come right out of 1940. He didn't speak the language. He had a wonderful time, joining in with the local clientele to sing songs and dance. What a great experience to bring home and relate to friends and family! So much more than a group of photos.
We were staying in Nepal in a small local Katmandu hotel. We mentioned that it was Laurel's birthday. That night around 6 PM we had a knock at the door. The manager, two small boys, and other guests brought a cake to share. We had a happy birthday song and a piece of cake then the two boys went to share the leftovers with their friends. Can you imagine this in a Holiday Inn? I don't think so.
Going It On Your Own
It's easy to wander around any strange city and see where the local people hang out. It's possible to become engaged with locals in many fields. With outdoor games, or having a local tell you and show you how he put shoes together. We learned how to make brooms in Vietnam.
While many cities make wonderful destinations for the tourist. More insight may be found visiting small towns or villages. Often an elderly person will tell you all about the village you are visiting. Finding yourself to be the center of attention is common in smaller places. One traveler to Egypt tells of having heard about one Cairo neighborhood. Locals named the area the garbage city. But things had changed.
Locals, tired of the city's failure to provide adequate garbage removal decided to do the job. He saw locals at work cleaning up trash and stowing it in bags, to beautify the neighborhood they lived in. He jumped in and began helping. That got a lot of smiles and soon the smiles turned into friendly invitations for dinner.
Planning Your Trip Yourself or Through An Agency
The secret is to gather as much information about your destinations as possible. The second secret is to stay in a local hotel. We were in Cairo not long ago and stayed in a small hostel run by two brothers.
They arranged drivers for a small price to take us to the Pyramids. One of them took us to a local shop to buy clothes and the other searched for a new computer. Last, when we were to catch a train to Luxor they insisted to walk us two blocks to the station. This is the type of devotion you will get going off the tourist grid.
Tour companies are seldom in a position to visit most areas beyond a set itinerary. The traveler will come away with a much narrower view of the country or city he/she has visited.
Some tour agencies provide tour guides from different cultures and backgrounds. These enable the tourist to gain a deeper understanding of the culture and lifestyle.
Solo or traveling alone is not for every traveler. We have done both and the challenge of what to see and what to do is a favorite part of our travel. We enjoy catching a bus to a small town like Prizren, Kosovo or Hsipaw, Myanmar. Finding these small hidden gems is our favorite part of travel.
Try it though and you may find that you love it as much as we do.