On this World Tourism Day, many talks about the contact with the populations being one of the most important and exciting aspects of any trip. A study by the University of Aveiro (Portugal) now shows that this relationship is of paramount importance, not only for the locals, who see their land “invaded,” as for tourists and the way they are welcomed.
Conducted by researchers João Maria Carneiro, Ana Celeste and Eusébio Caldeira of the University of Aveiro (UA), the study concludes that “the greater and better the interaction between residents and tourists, the greater the positive influence of tourism on the quality of life of the locals.” Result: the visitors will be better accepted.
“A more intense and satisfactory contact with the visitor allows residents to gain a better knowledge and understanding of their culture and attitudes, develop more positive feelings and more favorable attitudes toward tourists and tourism development, and even for less positive tourism impacts,” says Maria João Carneiro.
Published on the Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality & Tourism, the study reveals that “in spite of these results, the international studies on the subject reveal that the interaction between residents and visitors is still scarce, brief and formal, being mainly requests for information. “
“The promotion of more enriching meetings between residents and visitors could certainly help to reduce the conflicts between these two players in tourism, as well as to generate more positive perceptions of tourism in the local people and at the same time more favorable attitudes towards the development of tourism and tourism activity “, challenges the researcher.
That’s why, on this World Tourism Day, make it a priority to make conversation with locals on your next trip. But don’t just ask where’s the museum or where you can eat well. Have a good conversation, get interested in the experience of that person, their involvement in that community, what you can visit so that you can get a better feel for the place. You´ll see that you’ll be better received and that your trip will be much more vibrant and satisfying.