Independent or Group Tours?
An interesting view on group tourism is offered by tourism expert Dag Lansky.
He talks about how group tours and cruises harm destinations. Particularly, this type of tourists brings little income to a destination, they make a place seem overcrowded, and negatively affect the environment. In some places, this negative influence is so obvious that locals go out to protest. According to Lansky, the cruise business is aimed only at making profit for cruise companies, not for the destination, and this only harms the destination and its sustainable development.
Lansky offers destinations to reduce the number of cruises and group bus tours by restrictive measures and higher rates for entry, parking, docking at the port, etc. He believes that the current situation with the epidemic and the calm period is perfect for implementing these measures.
Like us, he promotes independent tourism, which far exceeds the group tours in terms of its impact on the economy. Therefore, destinations should encourage independent tourism. This can be done by increasing the points of free Internet access, providing information about local businesses and tours, developing a system of audio guides in different languages. Representing local attractions and services in global services like Google maps, TripAdvisor, GYG and others is also necessary. In short, destinations should give an opportunity for independent tourists who travel with a smartphone. This is the main requirement for smart tourism.
Through modern Internet marketing technologies, destinations can restructure their advertising activities in such a way as to develop thoughtful independent tourism, instead of cheap mass tourism. This is not difficult, since we have free lessons for a better understanding of internet marketing.
And through online review, we can help any destination understand whether it is prepared to receive smart tourists.