Who is a traveller? Is it someone who passionately collects memories and photos from distant places? Or is it someone who passionately collects travel miles...
But what are the consequences of travelling? Not for your soul, your wallet or your hard drive exploding with photographs. For the people, the ones who live there, yes, in the country, region or village you visited. I am wondering what impact tourism has on local people.
There must be examples of a good impact. I can think of one. When I visited Vietnam, I was amazed by the beauty of the people and the landscape in Sa Pa in the very north of the country. The region is home to numerous ethnic minorities who still live in a very traditional way. Do not be bothered if they have mobile phones or Facebook profiles. They are still dressed in traditional clothes, they speak their own languages and have their own beliefs.
|The nature in Sa Pa.|
Women have an important role there. Many tribes are matriarchal and often, it is women who ask the man in marriage and children take on the surname of the mother. They seem so strong and full of energy and they all have these amazing smiles on their faces. All. The. Time. With the rising flow of tourists visiting Sa Pa, they very quickly learn English and start making scarves, pillowcases, bags, clothes and jewellery with traditional patterns that they try to sell. They work from dawn to dusk and they never complain. THEY are the very example of powerful women.
|Laughter is their everyday companion.|
*This is a blog post for the WTD Blogger Competition on this year’s WTD theme “Tourism and Community Development”. Feel free to comment and share!