If you go with a local, you can see the immediate effect of your money. Let me give you an example. My husband and I have made our living on small group tours over the last 18 years. In the course of any given tour we pay the following with our clients’ money; hotel desk staff / bartenders/ bus boys and girls/ baggage carriers/ housekeepers/ laundry staff.
We tip desk clerks that we have seen for the last 20 years as they went from teenagers to family people that can provide for their elders or children. Their income has helped them weather many economic storms put in their path.
In addition, drivers of vans or buses naturally have to be locals in order to operate these vehicles; local restaurants that during the average day will have to employ roughly 5-6 people to run their establishment—and many times you have not only helped to pay their salary but also many times we give them direct money in the form of tips.
Our business is headquartered in Chagrin Falls, Ohio where we visit many months of the year. It is there where we retain a secretary that helps us with local things we would need. Then we pay taxes in Ohio and federal U.S. taxes on our income. We use local goods and services. Our favorite place to buy food is at a local farmers’ market thus contributing to the jobs there. Your international trip becomes very localized very quickly and contributes immensely to local economy wherever you are. So travel you must.
So you might be thinking ‘Well if I give my money for a tour for myself and my family, that is money going out of my economy locally’. Yes and no. You will no doubt travel within your own country. The more you get out, the more other people will also get out and come to visit your country, state, city, or town. The people coming to your town will buy a beer and sandwich at a local restaurant and in turn, support your local economy.
In addition these visitors might get someone local to give them a tour of your town. What, no one gives tours of your town yet? Why don’t you do it? Believe me, every town has tourists and every town can use some locals that can give an insider flavor.