Through my work as a social entrepreneur and innovator, I am currently aiming to transform the tourism industry.
This sector is one the biggest in the world, giving work to 1 person out of 10 and amounting to 10% of the global gross GDP.
Travel touches upon virtually everything in the places where we live and travel: our infrastructures, economies, environments, heritages, and, of course, communities.
As the biggest transfer of wealth from the ones who have to the ones who don’t, it is incredibly positioned to be a major force for good.
However, it is not currently the case.
Indeed, a look at the preCOVID19 era of travel shows the undeniable reality of tourism: it is highly unsustainable.
Destinations considered successful around the world are struggling.
People in Venice, Barcelona, Amsterdam have been protesting increasingly frequently since 2017.
Photos of crowds and trashes spoiling the otherwise immaculate Himalayas or pristine coasts of southeastern Asia have made headlines.
All these places struggle to handle what they have sought to achieve: an always-increasing number of visitors.
The number of arrivals is the central KPI of tourism; it is how success is measured.
This means that the entire tourism system, in its current state, is geared to continually increase the number of travelers, without any vision for sustainability.
To my team and me, this is why we are in this mess, now named ‘overtourism.’
The wrong KPIs means the wrong strategies.
We need to adopt new ways to measure success, and they should include the holistic impact of visitors on the places where we live and travel.
This is what we are seeking to achieve with our initiative Overtourism Solution: the widespread adoption of tourism strategies that measure success and impact the right way.
To do so, we share our learning from creating and implementing a positive tourism system in Venice, the poster child of overtourism.
Through creating open knowledge, assisting partners in using and implementing our framework, and building alliances with other impact minded stakeholders to promote and share acceptable practices, we are working hard to change the tourism paradigm.
Our ultimate goal: transforming the tourism industry and make it the driver of sustainable development that it should be.
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