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The Future of Tourism is Social Impact Tourism

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Social Impact Tourism

The responsible traveler today visits a place in order to get to know its people, culture and history. Social Impact Tourism promises to be an important part of our future as travelers and consumers – not only because it helps us travel more sustainably but also because it provides us with an opportunity to experience something new every time we go on vacation or take a trip somewhere outside our hometowns.

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Tourism is changing

Socially conscious tourism is growing. It’s no longer enough for travelers to simply visit a place and check off the top “things to do” or most famous sights to see. More and more people want to experience the authentic culture of the place they are visiting, interact with locals and make a difference in the community.

In fact, there are many reasons why socially conscious travel has become so popular:

  • Travelers want an authentic experience. They don’t want to be just another tourist; they want to make their trip unique by participating in activities that are unfamiliar or off the beaten path. They also want something more than just an Instagram-worthy photo; they want experiences that will leave them feeling like they made a difference while visiting somewhere new.
  • Travelers love giving back! Social impact tourism allows travelers to make meaningful contributions towards causes such as hunger, poverty, waste, urban planning, and social and environmental justice.


Sustainability is an important aspect of social impact tourism. The idea is that you shouldn’t use more resources than are available, or harm the environment in any way, so that future generations can benefit from what’s left behind. This has many benefits:

  • It ensures there will be things to see and do for future generations of tourists
  • It reduces waste by making sure only the necessary materials are used
  • It helps reduce the impact on the natural world

Consider these three pillars of sustainable tourism:

  • Education and Empowerment
  • Local community development through partnerships
  • Environmental Stewardship & Sustainable Business Practices

Effects of tourism on the local community

Tourism has a direct impact on communities. This means that tourists directly interact with locals and their environment, such as participating in events or activities, patronizing businesses, etc. These two types of interactions become ways to support the community financially, which can be especially helpful for communities that rely heavily on tourism or other industries that require financial support from outside sources.

Effects of tourism on the local economy

Tourism is a major source of revenue for many communities. If you think about it, this makes sense—there are lots of people traveling to major cities and popular tourist destinations, so they’ll need somewhere to stay and eat while they’re there. In turn, this creates jobs for people who work in hotels and restaurants or at gas stations or convenience stores. Tourism can also help local businesses because tourists will often spend money on things like souvenirs when they travel somewhere new.

This means that tourism helps boost the economy by creating more jobs for local residents. It also means that the economy gets an extra boost from all the money spent by tourists during their stay in town!


Effects of tourism on local culture

Tourism can be a good way to learn about other cultures and gain a deeper understanding of them. However, this isn’t always the case: tourism can also lead to loss of traditional culture and customs. Crowding of locals and tourists may create a vibrant ambiance, but it also causes frustration and can sometimes lead to the withdrawal of local residents. Increased tourists also results in increased traffic which can hinder daily life of the local residents. Culture shock may impact both tourists and their hosts.

Effects of tourism on the environment

Tourism unfortunately typically has a negative impact on the environment in several ways: water overuse, pollution, traffic and congestion, consumption of local resources, encourage the displacement of locals, leave a large carbon footprint, among other ways.

Consider tourism that helps the community you are visiting.

The increasing awareness in the need for more sustainable and responsible tourism has led to a rise in new ventures that focus on helping local communities by promoting economic development, raising awareness, and providing support.

The goal of each social impact tourism is to:

  • Ensure tourism development benefits local community economic development and the environment
  • Become part of the solution to the environmental challenges that travel and tourism creates
  • Reinvest in the local region while providing education to important local issues

New York City

There’s no better place than New York City to experience this type of tourism. New York City offers endless opportunities to get involved with local organizations while experiencing authentic cultural experiences. New York City is one of the most visited cities in the world. It’s also home to an abundance of non-profit organizations and now, social impact tours. New Yorkers are passionate about sustainability, but NYC is still a city with a lot of problems and a lot of needs: hunger, racism, pollution, poverty. Try a social impact tour with your group or company for a rewarding experience that gives back.