Tourism Leakage

Old Feb 26th, 2023, 09:44 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4,972
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tourism Leakage

Hadn't heard of the expression before or how one-sided the flow of money was for all the package tours that tour companies put together for Europe. Since most of us here tend to book our own accommodations and seek out local restaurants, I would imagine few here and on other travel forums would be doing packaged tours.

But there must be a significant number of tourists who visit Europe that way.

But there’s a dirty secret swirling around the flood of tourists returning to Europe’s hotspots: tourism leakage.

Book that all-inclusive holiday in Greece and how much of your money will end up in local people’s pockets? Precious little.

In fact, for most all-inclusive mass tourism package holidays, 80 per cent of your cash heads overseas - away from local communities - according to the UN World Tourism Organization.
It’s called tourism leakage, and it happens when an international company provides your hotel, flight, car hire and excursions, when you eat imported food, or dine at international chain restaurants.It’s money that could instead be used by local communities to restore nature, support local livelihoods, protect cultural traditions or maintain vital infrastructure. And in destinations suffering from overtourism - places where too many visitors are eroding the very fabric of everyday life - tourism leakage compounds the problem.
https://www.euronews.com/travel/2023...edium=referral

I can see a lot of Americans or other nationals visiting for the first time buying packages or some kind of organized trips. These group tour companies must get terrific deals to use certain hotels, restaurants, coach companies for them to be able to net 80% of the profits? (or is it 80% of the actual price that people pay for these packages?0

Just an astounding figure.

It may be the case that people who plan their own trips are in the minority or maybe even outliers. Yet online travel booking companies like Booking.com and Expedia are obviously making a lot of money too.

I did one trip a long time ago with American Express. Nothing memorable about that trip either. First time to Paris/Europe was this university extension "course" where you nominally take some classes during like 1 or 2 week trip, where we stayed at I think it was some kind of dormitory or former convent or something like that in the 16th arrondissement. We got breakfast and we took courses on French language or art (one was about the Belle Epoque period). That was only an hour or two per day, though it was a long time ago.

They gave you a packet with some basic guiding info, like how to find them relative to the nearest Metro, how to get from the airport, etc. Very useful for first time international visitor. And we would go do some extra things with other classmates. I tagged along with two other people to a few things, renting a bike and riding around and they talked me into going to Epernay/Reims, spending the night there. They had done some kind of research or one of them did. No Internet access for us, no smart phones then and much fewer people who could speak English.

Still you had to figure out the Metro and some other things for yourselves, whereas in a packaged tour, I would think you'd be taken everywhere by coach so maybe less incentive to venture out on your own.

Return home, you wanted or at least I did, to research more trips. Can't recall if it was the Fodors forum or elsewhere but one of the first things I learned is that holiday apartments may be a better choice than hotels for some people, on some trips.

​​​​​​​
scrb11 is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 04:11 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 25,939
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
don't get me started on cruise ships

pollute the water
feed/entertain customers on board
use imported cheap as chips staff

reminds as the old adage about HQ staff

"seagulls, fly in, eat your food, squak a lot and crap on you"
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 04:11 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 42,716
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
My late husband and I did a couple of what you are calling “packaged” tours in Europe. One we enjoyed and one we thought was a rip-off but that was because we did not look at what was offered very closely.

there are, IMO, various reasons people take them and they are good reasons for the people who prefer to do that.

I had people I knew and worked with who seemed intimidated by the fact that I travel ALONE and to some foreign country. I always try to reassure them that I understand their hesitance and that I think they could do the same things I do if they do some research , etc. but I have never been sure I was being very convincing despite my intent
Dukey1 is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 04:34 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 20,525
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I used to think I would be interested in doing some of the Road Scholar trips when we were retired, but they seem to have gotten more expensive than the old Elderhostel trips. Also, since the pandemic we have known people traveling on group tours who have experienced Covid spreading during the trips.
Road Scholar does offer interesting programs. So does our college alumni office -- but very pricey.

It is my impression that group tour packages make a lot of their money with day trips options.

Vttraveler is online now  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 05:05 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 36,855
Likes: 0
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
That article is all over the place. First it complains about your money going somewhere else if you book a tour implying you should travel independently. Next it complains about people booking short term places like Air BnB's which is people traveling independently. Then they suggest you solve tourism issues by going someplace you don't want to go instead of the place that has the things you want to see (don't go to Croatia, go to Albania). They talk about going to one of the hundreds of Greek islands that don't get much tourism while neglecting to tell you those islands are not easy to reach and would be difficult even for experienced travelers to reach.

The article seems to think you should only go to undiscovered places that don't have the infrastructure to support travel. It also implies it's a European only problem. The US gets people from Europe booking tours to the US. It's like telling people don't go to NYC, go to Albany.
kybourbon is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 05:31 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4,972
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
True, don’t think it’s realistic for people to skip Barcelona and visit Girona or Tarragona instead.

People heard of Barcelona, not those other towns.
scrb11 is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 06:00 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 36,855
Likes: 0
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
**True, don’t think it’s realistic for people to skip Barcelona and visit Girona or Tarragona instead.**

It's been 15 years since I was in Tarragona and it's certainly not Barcelona. At the time, they catered heavily to British tourists as did the nearby coastal area of Salou. Restaurants advertising British breakfast fry-ups with beans, British flags, etc. Americans might not go there much (didn't encounter any), but Brits certainly do.
kybourbon is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 06:24 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 29,753
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Did anyone notice that "Washing machine leakage" is a related topic?!

As many travelers, we made. a transition from fully guided to fully DIY touring. As we aged, we started reverting to tours again. I can see the point but even though the tour company is making the most, there are still local people working in the venues. I do object to hordes of people descending from a massive ship; feels like overfishing.

TDudette is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 07:00 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 5,361
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is another one of those articles saying my way of travel is better than yours. Along the same lines of be a "traveler not a tourist" which I always find annoying. We haven't taken a fully guided tour - yet - but who knows how our travel will change as we age. This article did make me think back on our day trip to Devil's Tower in Wyoming last summer. We spent the previous night an hour away, used my husband's senior lifetime national parks pass, spent several hours hiking, made sandwiches from our cooler, ate in our car and then headed to South Dakota. Our contribution to the local economy was little to nothing. The local ecomony benefitted from the many tour buses that were there at the same time as us and those passengers shopped at the gift shops and stopped for lunch in the nearby town of Hulett.
wtm003 is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 07:02 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 51,286
Received 37 Likes on 31 Posts
Anybody writing under the heading of "Conscious Travel" is just a little preachy for my blood.
LucieV is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 07:34 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,786
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Originally Posted by LucieV
Anybody writing under the heading of "Conscious Travel" is just a little preachy for my blood.
For sure.

I'm fairly certain the term "tourism leakage" came out the academic side of the hospitality industry in the last 15-20 years. I think there's some "there there" with regard to over-touristed places and it's certainly the case in developing economies but the linked article is pretty fuzzy on all fronts. There's little substance and no explanation for what comprises the percentages (which is as high as 95% elsewhere) of leaked money.

It and pretty much everything else google surfaces for tourism leakage is really just part of a marketing pitch to travel differently. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. But for now it's a fairly niche segment of the market.

obxgirl is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 07:50 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 20,675
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was on a packaged tour in Mexico, the tour guide encouraged us to buy local souvenirs, to eat in local restaurants. Not all tours are created equal.

Cruises bring some business to locals, they are not 100% bad.
Dayenu is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 07:51 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 24,815
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't get me started on the cheap British airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet, not to mention the proliferation of Instagram "travelers".

It was the British who invented mass tourism according to Wikipedia (Thomas Cook). Because it's affordable to the "masses".

Last edited by mlgb; Feb 27th, 2023 at 07:53 AM.
mlgb is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 07:55 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4,972
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Article said the 80% comes from some UN agency.

Yeah some tourist destinations are chafing at over-tourism. Some residents in Barcelona are talking some action and supposedly there's some backlash on Mallorca as well.

Certainly understandable, tourism taxes infrastructure of a place, the overcrowding, traffic resulting in higher prices and rents for people who live in these places.

But I'd always assumed these places more or less made that bargain, to bring in tourism money, they were willing to endure some of these ills. Certainly it's the city and the region funding all this tourism outreach. Who pays to keep all those tourist offices open and run all those ad campaigns?

Especially with cruise ships, yeah they're not dining as much in local restaurants or staying in local hotels, not only not paying the hoteliers but also not paying the hotel taxes. But it seems undeniable that a lot of businesses organize around cruise ship arrivals.



scrb11 is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 08:46 AM
  #15  
P_M
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 25,244
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We all have a travel style to suit our needs. Seeing the world is such a joy, and there's no right or wrong way to do it.
P_M is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 09:20 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 83,227
Received 46 Likes on 17 Posts
Originally Posted by P_M
We all have a travel style to suit our needs. Seeing the world is such a joy, and there's no right or wrong way to do it.
Amen to that!

I took my first ever coach tour of a location. I had concerns that it was not my style. I confirmed that it was not my favorite travel style - but I'm glad I took the tour. It was a tour of the Holy Land, led by someone I knew and I really enjoyed being with a small group on a HUGE coach / tour bus. There were only 16 of us on a coach with more rows than that and even couples sat on opposite sides of the aisle. Plenty of room to stretch out. I got tired of the in and out of a big bus though.

I DID cringe a bit over how encapsulated we were. We stayed at a hotel that was full of other folks on similar tours. The dining room tables had place cards for our company and/or the specific bus we were on. The buffet dinners were really weird. I suppose an Americanized version of several options that always included pasta noodles with thin sauce next to it, always a beef, chicken and fish entree option. Big salad bar. Lots of choices on both the buffet and salad bar. The food was good but just strange.

During the day we stopped at locations for lunch that were pre-arranged. Those varied from small family owned restaurants to big banquet hall type venues. The small family owned restaurants reflected local cuisine. The one in Acre / Akko was the best. Tucked in behind and literally under the mosque - which we had visited shortly before.

The bus stopped twice (different days) at the same family owned gift shop (which also owned the banquet hall lunch stop) for "shopping time". That is common, I know. The same happens with private drivers. I don't really mind it. I'm glad to know the tour leaders have confidence in the quality of good and fair pricing.

But there was virtually no "spill over". A couple of people went out to a local market to buy sodas and snacks. We did stop at three local markets and spent money there. But being in a big group on a schedule limited the time to get out and shop and explore new restaurants.

It was the perfect timing and the perfect for me as I was not up to par and it was a treat to sit back and be taken from place to place. I knew and liked our guides. They really liked the local guide they've used before. So overall it was a good tour.

But, because it was that kind of tour, flexibility was limited as was time for spill over spending.

If I go back, I would like to do a mix of independent planning and private driver.
starrs is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 09:41 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 51,286
Received 37 Likes on 31 Posts
Originally Posted by P_M
We all have a travel style to suit our needs. Seeing the world is such a joy, and there's no right or wrong way to do it.
Sheesh, P_M, why ya gotta be so un-self-congratulatory? Haven't you been here long enough to know that there are right and wrong ways to do everything, and that if you don't do it the right way, you shouldn't be allowed to get out of bed in the morning?
LucieV is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 10:05 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,786
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Originally Posted by scrb11
Article said the 80% comes from some UN agency.
Thanks, I saw that. What I meant is that comment is badly cited and out of context.

I'm not advocating one way or the other on the topic.
obxgirl is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 10:06 AM
  #19  
P_M
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 25,244
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks starrs.

Lucie,
P_M is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 11:34 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,285
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
the author is a :content and values writer"

>> Next it complains about people booking short term places like Air BnB's which is people traveling independently.

That bit was "avoid Airbnb hosts who buy up swathes of homes". So, think about an airbnb management company being the host for multiple properties in your neighborhood. Having transient neighbors can be problematic. People who bring crime, noise, and no interest in the community. Demand from those companies increase home prices, which might seen good for some homeowners who live there. But that demand can make the properties unaffordable for people that you would rather have as neighbors. Yes, the article is a bit all over the place.

mrwunrfl is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -