Are There Holes In Your Bucket? Keep Tourism Dollars Local

Want to make your business and community thrive? Find out how keeping tourist dollars local can boost your profits and support the local economy with simple, effective tips!

May 16, 2024

Keeping Tourism Dollars Local is a Game-Changer for Your Business

If you run a small business in a tourist spot—like a cozy café, a charming bed and breakfast, or an artisan shop—you know your charm is what makes your area unique. But did you know that keeping more tourist dollars in your pocket isn't just good for your cash register? It's a shared responsibility for your community's economy and the unique vibe that keeps visitors returning. It's an integral part of tourism economics, and your role is crucial.

Have you ever considered how much of the money spent in your establishment actually stays in your community? 🤔

Why Are Small Businesses Like Yours Key to Tourism?

Photo credit: Hector Rivas

When visitors choose your business, they get a taste of something real, something that the big chains can't replicate. And when your business thrives, you not only create jobs and help keep local traditions alive, but you also pave the way for your personal growth and success. It's a big circle of good vibes, and you're at the center of it.

What is 'Leakage' in Tourism, and Why Should You Care?

In tourism economics, there is a concept called "leakage."

Infographic - tourism economic leakage

Imagine every dollar a tourist spends is a drop of water. Now, picture a bucket where you collect these water drops—it's your local economy. Leakage happens when holes in the bucket (like imports, foreign business ownership, and money spent on outside services) let the water escape to other places. Here's why that matters:

- Imports: If your business buys goods from outside, whether it's cheese for your restaurant or linens for your hotel, you're sending money out of town.

- Foreign Ownership: If large companies not based in your area own local tourist spots, profits head overseas instead of staying local.

- Expatriate Workforce: Money also flows out when wages earned in your town are sent back to workers' home countries.

- External Marketing: Paying companies outside your community to advertise your business means less money circulating locally.

- Infrastructure: Foreign companies often build local tourism infrastructure, leading to profits leaving the community.

- Tax Exemptions: Tax breaks given to foreign investors can reduce local revenue.

- Remittances by Foreign Workers: Money earned by foreign workers often gets sent back to their home countries.

- Profits Sent Abroad by Big Companies: International companies often send their earnings back to their home countries.

Actionable Tips for Keeping Money Local

Photo credit: Jurgen Scheeff

- Partner Locally: Collaborate with other local businesses to keep supply chains short and boost local economies. Start a referral program with nearby attractions to promote each other.

- Feature Local Products: Use locally sourced ingredients and materials. Highlight these in your marketing to attract tourists interested in authentic local experiences.

- Host Local Events: Organize events that feature local artists, musicians, and craftspeople. It not only showcases local talent but also keeps spending within the community.

Tech to the Rescue: Plugging Those Holes

Keep more of those tourist dollars in your community. Here's how:

- Get Found Online: Boost your internet presence so more visitors can find you before they even pack their bags.

- Streamline Your Operations: From reservations to customer service, focus on what you do best—wowing your guests.

- Personalize the Experience: Tailor what you offer to what your guests love, making their stay unforgettable and your reviews excellent.

Community Impact of Strengthening Local Economies

Empowering local businesses does more than improve your bottom line—it builds a sustainable tourism model that benefits the entire community. Improved local infrastructure, better quality of life, and an enhanced reputation as a destination are just a few perks that come from keeping money local.

The World Economic Forum emphasizes this: "Tourism should be developed in a way that maximizes community benefit. By aligning tourism activities with community needs and ensuring that tourism does not exploit but rather enriches, we create a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship."

Keep the Cash Flowing Locally!

Every tourist dollar has the potential to enrich your community, not just economically but also by strengthening the unique local character that defines it. By embracing tools like those from Smart Pineapple, you're not just surviving in the tourism industry; you're helping it thrive sustainably. So, let's keep those dollars circulating locally and make your spot a destination people can't wait to return to!

Investing in the community and using innovative technology fosters a thriving local ecosystem that will sustain and enrich everyone involved.

Want to boost your business and keep more tourist dollars?

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