If ever there was a more pressing reason for taking a staycation this year it has to be the recent press release from Tourism Concern, the independent organisation fighting exploitation in tourism.
Tourism Concern highlights the effects of large-scale tourism on poor communities in developing countries and is calling for a stop to the development of tourist ‘mega-resorts’ which it claims are destroying local communities, are environmentally unsustainable, and lead to the alienation and displacement of local people.
Director of Tourism Concern, Patricia Barnett, says: “The development of mega-resorts and all the social and environmental problems that go with them is an issue facing communities from Scotland to Bulgaria, from Spain to the Bahamas, India to Thailand. Tourism has to be developed in a more sustainable, transparent and democratic way. That means listening to the needs of local people and the environment, and demands an abandonment of the ‘economic growth at all costs’ attitude that is seeing communities dispossessed of their homes and their means of earning a living the world over”.
“The needs and rights of local communities are being pitched directly against those of mega-resorts, with the resorts winning out almost every time. Golf courses, landscaped gardens, swimming pools and showers all consume vast quantities of water, much more than the local communities, who often have to walk a considerable distance to fetch water that is barely drinkable”.