World Tourism Day: Small businesses that promote new ways to travel

September 27 celebrates World Tourism Day

27 September 2017
Financiera Confianza
Fondo Esperanza
Fundación Microfinanzas BBVA

1.2 billion people travel the world annually. This is an impressive number, but something that was unimaginable 70 years ago, when this data was somewhere around 25 million. In the beginning of 2017, the United Nations Secretary-General has referred to tourism as having the transformative force to change the world. According to Antonio Guterres, it is “a passport to prosperity” which could improve “millions of lives”.

In addition, the UN highlights that the sector needs to be managed sustainably, adding that this is can be a factor for “environmental preservation, cultural appreciation and understanding among peoples.”

Fotografía de Jaime emprendedor de Fondo Esperanza Chile FMBBVA

Jaime, with the help of  Fondo Esperanza, dreams of leaving a touristic heritage in his region using local crafts

Businesses that promote sustainable tourism

Because of this, efforts of entrepreneurs like Jaime, Gregorio or Quintin, with the help of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, contribute in making tourism a lever for change. This way, it becomes a more responsible sector as well as more aligned with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, considered as cornerstones for global development.

“We teach tourists our way of life”, shared Gregorio, from the Peruvian highlands. His lifestyle and daily habits are more than enough to attract tourists to his village and his native weaving workshop. Quintin, with his clay houses also offers an interesting tourist spot in Pisac. Meanwhile in Chile, Jaime hopes to leave a touristic heritage in his region. He dreams of achieving this with the help of his shop in the coastal town of Quisco, where he sells souvenirs made out of leather.

Stories like these are only few of the many that inspire millions to search for something different when they go on a trip; something that could contribute to change not only for the travelers but also for their hosts. This becomes more evident this year, as it has been declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, a platform to help carry its message across the four corners of the world.