Sadly, many of the ‘local’ benefits from tourism have been slowly stripped away as the industry has shifted their focus to meeting the needs of part-time visitors and second-home owners. While the economic benefits of catering to these market segments are clear, the needs of the people responsible for delivering a first-rate tourism experience cannot be ignored.
In many cases, a significant percentage of the direct profits from increased tourism visitation escape the local economy. Often, this means that local benefits only extend so far. When locals begin to realize the extent of their “glass ceiling,” many begin to regret their willingness to open their doors so eagerly.
While tourism has the potential to break down cultural stereotypes and barriers, we can see its antithetical potential to reinforce these stereotypes and create breeding grounds for conflict between tourists who seek very different experiences in their travels.