When it comes to Sustainable Tourism politics is a very complex theme. There are many different views. It is a fact that many developing countries do not have a democratic government. Human rights are often not respected. So should I travel to these countries? The answer is: It depends… While many dictators use incoming tourist money to manifest their regimen or fill their own bank accounts, the contact with the tourists and the money they spend also offers chances to the local people.
Tourism can create jobs. Where there are tourists there is a need for all kinds of services – from taxi drivers to waiters, guides and many other. Money is a key factor for the development of local communities. But often the tourist money mostly benefits international or government owned hotel chains and tour operators. That is where Sustainable Tourism comes in. Truly sustainable projects directly benefit the local community no matter if it is a hotel, a guided tour or a taxi service.
So if you are traveling to these kinds of countries you should check twice where you spend your money. Questions before the trip could be: Who owns the accommodation/tour operator/service I am planning to book? Who works there? Is it local people? Do they give back to the community? Do they maybe support local charities or development projects by charing part of their profits? Do they respect local culture? Do they try to get tourists and local people in touch in order to learn from one another? Do they care for the environment? If you can answer all these questions with „Yes“ then it might be a good idea to visit the place.