H for Host Of the places we go to

Consumer Voice - - Responsible Travel -

This trip was to ex­plore with a par­tic­u­lar vil­lage whether they would like to host guests in the near fu­ture. The vil­lage had seen the neg­a­tive im­pact of tourism in the nearby town and were not overly en­thu­si­as­tic. I was try­ing to con­vince them that they could have suf­fi­cient con­trol over the tourism in their vil­lage to en­sure that it ac­tu­ally ben­e­fited them; and that with suf­fi­cient plan­ning, they could han­dle any pos­si­ble neg­a­tive im­pact.

There was some de­bate over whether they would have home­s­tays or a guest­house that they would col­lec­tively man­age. They un­der­stood that home­s­tays would ben­e­fit a few fam­i­lies while a guest­house would ben­e­fit more fam­i­lies in the vil­lage. We then went on to the dis­cus­sion on what the roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of all the mem­bers of the Vil­lage Tourism Com­mit­tee would be. The per­cep­tion was that only those who were di­rectly in­volved in run­ning the guest­house would be part of the tourism ven­ture. The truth was that the en­tire vil­lage would be the host com­mu­nity.

As guests wan­der around the vil­lage and the sur­round­ing hil­locks, they will in­ter­act with al­most ev­ery­one in the vil­lage. The ex­pe­ri­ence is only as rich as how these in­ter­ac­tions go for­ward – so in that sense, ev­ery­one in that vil­lage and prob­a­bly in the neigh­bour­ing vil­lages needs to un­der­stand the im­por­tance of the guests hav­ing a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence.

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