Hometown. If you think about it, the junction of home+town means so much to us. They can get to a point of shaping who we are: our points of view, our teams, our favorite places, our memories. It all comes from our experiences in our hometowns. And that’s why it gets personal when someone tries to change them somehow.
We’ve all had a favorite place from childhood torn down, just to be replaced by some big business parking lot? It’s upsetting, to say the least. As Dennis Schaal, Executive Editor at Skift, says “Tourism development versus the locals is an issue that cities and countries worldwide have to grapple with. There’s no magic formula for striking the right balance.”
Even in tough times, the Hospitality, Tourism, and Service Industries thrive, as people always need a break. So, how can cities take advantage of this economical opportunity without imposing unfair changes to residents, and allowing them to profit as well?
Well… just the other day, your options when traveling were hotels or camping, public transportation or taxis. Startups like Airbnb, Lyft, Uber, and others have changed this and gave ordinary people a chance to have a share of the profitable Hospitality market. People who were used to just observing the changes around them can now participate and profit from them.
The challenge to the cities remains, though. The report “Advances in Hospitality, Tourism, and the Services Industry” highlights the importance for them to work with the locals, in order to identify core values and goals for tourism in their community. Who better than the experts in the communities, a.k.a residents, to establish these goals?
Well, the subject is complex, and there are more questions than answers right now. It’s also very specific to each city and its own issues. But there’s one certainty in all this: residents should care and should participate. Remember, everybody is a resident for some days and a tourist other days. If we choose to be the best at each of these roles, we contribute to a balance between great cities and tourism development.
And you know what’s even better? There’s never been a better moment to take on these roles. “Sharing market startups, like Lyft, Uber, Airbnb and City Catt, give residents an opportunity to profit from the Hospitality market, but also to shape it; and tourists gain access to a much more authentic, smooth and affordable experience”, says City Catt co-founder Lizia Santos. Power to the people! 🙂