The tourism industry is growing every year but there is a large disparity between the money spent and the money reaching the locals and helping the community. Tourism is a over 2 trillion per year industry accounting for more than 10% of the world’s GDP. This accounts for roughly 1 in 10 jobs on the planet, and it’s still growing every year. This accounts for 1 in 10 jobs on the planet, and it’s still growing every year.  Unfortunately, a large portion of the income made by tourism does not stay with the people who need it the most. Large companies or corporations (that are usually not even based in the country you are travelling in) are typically the ones who benefit from increasing tourism. An estimated 40-80% of tourism money spent in third world countries end up leaving the country it was spent in.

There are many ways in which you as a traveller can be conscious of where your money is going and where it is staying. One thing that you can do to help support the local economy is to hire a local guide. Cleverbreak is a new platform designed to encourage travellers from around the world to experience life like a local. They match travellers with locals to help provide authentic experiences and information. This in turn provides the local people direct access to some of those tourism dollars. Residents of the area can sign up to be a local guide and undergo a training process as well as verification by Cleverbreak to ensure that they are respectful, knowledgeable and fun! Trust and safety are the most important aspects of Cleverbreak; they want you to have an amazingly authentic experience with locals, but want it to be done as safely as possible. Their “designed to trust” model verifies tour guides and also provides a feedback and rating system to help you choose the appropriate guide for your needs.

This is not only a great way for you to have an amazing vacation, it also helps provide sustainable tourism and helps the local economy grow. When you hire a Cleverbreak guide you are hiring a local resident who is supporting their family and small business. A small fee does go to the Cleverbreak platform however the majority of the cost is directly pocketed by that guide. Cleverbreak is committed to helping communities in developing countries grow. It is empowering locals to take charge of their income and create new businesses and jobs for themselves in the tourism industry.

Additional ways to support locals in the area are to verify that the places you are staying are not large corporations with outside businesses. You can stay at smaller boutique hotels, homestays or hostels, go to small restaurants that are operated by locals,  and purchase crafts or souvenirs directly from the makers. Try and eliminate the middleman as much as possible as it decreases the income for the local people. It can be difficult when planning ahead to be able to find these small and independent businesses and operators. Many of them do not have online platforms available. Cleverbreak online guides are knowledgeable about the area and can provide you with ideas of where to stay, eat, and purchase authentic products from locals before you even arrive.

Cleverbreak is dedicated to helping travellers have an amazing, unique, safe and sustainable cultural exchange with local guides and at the same time empowering locals to create their own businesses within the tourism industry. Sustainable tourism is needed in this ever growing industry. Make sure that when you travel you are doing your part to ensure that the local community is getting the cut of the success that it deserves. Where possible interact with the locals as much as you can and directly pay them for the services that they provide.

There is a shift happening in travel to create more authentic experiences; this is a perfect way to enable local people to benefit from tourism and create a better life for themselves. Do your part to ensure your tourism money ends up in the right hands.