If someone believes in your business idea, it gives you the confidence and motivation to develop that idea and make it work.
But if nobody believes in what you are trying to do, your confidence and motivation diminish. The idea dies. How can it go forward? Every business, 1however small, needs people who believe in it, people who are prepared to become clients. Without clients, the business remains a dream. Without clients, people are forced to depend on handouts. Without clients, people cannot help themselves out of the 2poverty trap.
In various countries around the world, tourism is being used by small rural communities to nurture education, health and a basic 3standard of living, but these initiatives need our collaboration, just like Zara needs customers to maintain its multi-million dollar empire.
The Nepal Community Trek has, for example, managed to build a high school in Nangi for the 4surrounding villages in the Annapurna region and is now hoping to embark on the ambitious project of building a higher education college. This is a community tourism initiative that is 5thriving, thanks to the tourists that have offered the community their 6vote of confidence. In return, these tourists have enjoyed local hospitality 7off the beaten track – a 8priceless commodity.
Children practising their dance for the tourists at the Boomu Women’s Group camp in Uganda
Just outside the magnificent Murchison Falls wildlife park in Uganda, Ednah Byabalemi waits for tourists to choose the Boomu Women’s Group Camp instead of or as well as the 9foreign-owned lodges inside. Around the beautifully kept gardens of the camp with its round banda huts, the infrastructure is non-existent. The villagers live without sanitation. The 10dirt tracks become impossible to drive along in the rainy season without a 4 x 4, meaning crops 11rot. There is primary education but without materials. There is no electricity for evening study.
A typical village home outside Murchison Falls wildlife park in Uganda
Boomu needs visitors so that this village can begin to 12get on its feet too. Community tourism initiatives mean the entire community participates in one way or another. They show the tourists 13a slice of Ugandan culture and the tourists pay a few dollars that will help to buy school material for the children and put some through high school. Education is the key to engineering change.
The high school in Nangi, which has been able to grow and thrive thanks to the community’s tourism initiative
In 14an age when we are 15accosted on every street corner by aid agencies, isn’t it also important to support initiatives that nurture self-sufficiency and independence, empowering people to move forward towards opportunity? Give the man a fish and he will eat for the day, give him a 16fishing rod and he will eat for a lifetime, as the saying goes. One visit to a community tourism initiative means that community can have that rod.
1however small: por pequeña que sea
2poverty trap: el círculo de pobreza
3standard of living: una calidad de vida
5to thrive: prosperar
6vote of confidence: un voto de confianza
7off the beaten track: fuera de los caminos trillados
8priceless: sin precio
9foreign-owned lodges: alojamiento de propiedad extranjera
10dirt tracks: caminos de tierra
11 to rot: pudrirse
12to get on one’s feet: levantarse económicamente
13a slice: una parte
14an age: un edad
15to be accosted: ser abordaba
16fishing rod: una caña de pescar