With tourism being one of the most prolific industries worldwide, it is a vital source of employment and Gross Domestic Product. This is a particularly important industry for developing nations, who can take advantage of the opportunities that tourism benefits generate. However, considerations must be made to ensure that tourism development occurs in a sustainable manner. Basically, tourism initiatives must recognise and be responsible for current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, whilst meeting the needs of visitors, industry, local indigenous communities and their environment.
LEMCO acknowledges the importance of sustainable tourism development. We are looking to develop the tourism capabilities in our development regions to positively impact on local indigenous communities, local businesses and tourists alike. Our project management team is experienced with generating tourism initiatives that are sustainable both financially and socially.
Objectives for tourism development include creating increased visitation, length of stay and tourist expenditure. With the development of tourism capabilities in developing nations, comes significant overall benefits. These benefits include positive contributions to the economy and employment opportunities. Strategies to achieve this are improvements to infrastructure, support of wholesale production and agricultural production, and the development of events.
Hence, LEMCO’s sustainable tourism ingenuities all achieve these points:
- Ideal use of environmental resources to preserve ecological processes and maintain biodiversity as well as the heritage of indigenous lands.
- Reverence for the validity of indigenous communities, upholding their traditional values, cultural heritage and built structures, whilst also endeavouring to aid in their inter-cultural understanding.
- Guarantee the socio-economic benefits for all stakeholders by confirming feasible, long-term operations, which will provide jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, as well as social services for local indigenous communities.
LEMCO knows that communication and participation of all stakeholders is pertinent to sustainable tourism development. This is a process that necessitates continual monitoring, to ensure that the relevant preventative or corrective measures are implemented. Our sustainable tourism activities will bring awareness for sustainability problems, this will not only ensure and maintain an exemplary level of satisfaction of tourists, but it will promote sustainable tourism practices.
What is Ecotourism?
This is a concept defined as being tourism that is focused on natural environments, with the purpose of advocating conservation efforts and observing wildlife. It is focused on preserving the environment, including its historical heritage, as well as acknowledging the local culture. LEMCO encourages all visitors to care for the natural resources that are the reason they are attracted to the region initially.
Why is Ecotourism relevant?
In most cases, tourists are drawn to travel to locations that are aesthetically pleasing, providing a unique and beautiful experience. This is true for most developing nations, where visitors are drawn to the untainted environment. It is because of this though, that these environments are particularly susceptible to the threats of external influence and impacts.
Hence, LEMCO knows tourists themselves play an important role in protecting the areas they choose to visit. Ecotourism does not focus on economic proficiency, instead it looks to educate travellers on travelling ‘green’. We can assist this through our initiatives by restricting mass tourism accommodation, to encourage natural regeneration of sensitive environments, therefore not compromising the longevity of the natural resources of a destination.
LEMCO recognises that Ecotourism is founded on the precedent of uniting conservation, communities and sustainable travel. Therefore, the following factors are met in our approach:
- Physical, social, behavioural and psychological impacts of tourism are limited.
- Develop respect and awareness for the environment and culture of a destination.
- Deliver a positive experience for visitors and local communities.
- Offer financial benefits for conservation.
- Provide local people and private companies with financial benefits.
- Promote understanding of local political, environmental and social climates through generating notable experiences.
- Implement low-impact facilities.
- Develop a partnership with local indigenous communities to better learn their rights and spiritual beliefs.
What is Community Tourism?
This is a concept where local communities allow tourists to visit their society, delivering on a promise of overnight accommodation. Residents can thus earn an income as land managers, entrepreneurs, service providers and employees. LEMCO has recognised that community tourism allows visitors to embrace the traditional culture of a destination.
Why is Community Tourism relevant?
This form of tourism allows tourists to learn about and visit local habitats and wildlife, which creates a celebration and respect for the tradition rituals, wisdom and culture. Community based tourism is therefore a huge opportunity for developing nations. LEMCO has acknowledged that some indigenous communities are resistant to foreign visitors due to their lack of respect, however with this unique approach to tourism, these regions can thrive.
Additionally, the communities themselves are benefitted as tourists will generate an awareness of the commercial and social value of a region, resulting in community based conservation to maintain these natural resources. This form of tourism also ensures that all revenues are retained within the community.
LEMCO understand that tourism is a pertinent tool for development. Hence, by implementing an approach that benefits both tourist and destination, sustainable development can be achieved.
What is Agritourism?
Agritourism is the concept of tourism driven by agriculturally based activities drawing visitors. Tourists visit a farm, plantation, agricultural or horticultural business to be involved in the experiences.
Why is Agritourism relevant?
Agritourism fundamentally connects agriculture and tourism as its name suggests. Often farmers and land owners participate in Agritourism to supplement their income, although others are motivated to inform visitors and introduce them to agricultural practices. It can be accurately stated that farms in developing nations face serious economic challenges due to foreign competition. Hence, with earnings from commodities and livestock barely covering the cost of production, Agritourism is a way for these farms to survive without compromising their harvests.
LEMCO has recognised that Agritourism is a sector of the travel industry that is one of the fastest growing. Tourists are increasingly after a unique travel experience. This is something that agriculture can offer them. As developing nations are able to offer an Agritourism experience, this has been implemented into our project management projects. Three major facts have driven the shift towards Agritourism:
- Visitors are planning their trips on short notice and are taking shorter trips.
- Tourists are wanting to experience new things.
- Family bonding through staying together on trips, is a priority for most.
All of these factors combine to ensure that Agritourism will be utilised to achieve sustainable development for developing nations in which we implement our project management initiatives.
What is Rural Tourism?
This is a concept whereby tourists enjoy ‘the country experience’ which sees them participate in an agricultural lifestyle. It is more than Agritourism as it includes farm-based holidays, as well as special interest nature holidays, eco-tourism, walking, climbing, adventure, sport, health, hunting, travel, arts, heritage, ethnic and educational travel.
Why is Rural Tourism relevant?
Governments have recognised the importance of involving local communities with tourism through agricultural festivals, special events and the celebration of traditional historic landmarks. This approach to tourism is generating sustainable economic development worldwide. Rural tourism events contribute to increases in business, income and jobs in rural regions, something that is particularly pertinent in achieving sustainable economic development in developing nations.
The benefits of rural tourism are employment growth, repopulation, social improvement and an expanded economic foundation, all of which positively contribute to social and economic development. Additionally, these benefits significantly contribute to increasing the income of tourism operators (the farmers or land managers) and the local economy as a whole.
LEMCO knows that the challenge for rural tourism lies in insufficient infrastructure to be able to support tourism for the entire twelve months of the year. Hence, we will implement the appropriate measures to ensure that indigenous communities are able to take advantage of the benefits that rural tourism can bring to the region.