My last blog was a bit of a rant about how hotels don’t seem to benefit local areas in the a Philippines. It is a subject very close to my heart, and it makes me profoundly sad to see these monstrosities appear. The people who have lived on the land for many years are tossed aside so quickly. I think we have lost touch with what it means for some people to move from a bit of land that their family has been on for generations.
Before starting this business I tried to dissect whether travel is in fact a good thing. I always think of the impact it has had on my life, and am so grateful for what it has taught me. But do host countries benefit? I have come to the conclusion that they really do, but only if the travel is executed in such a way to put host and guest on the same level. If this is the case then the guest cannot expect facilities to be the same as their own country. Isn’t this why we travel in the first place? To experience another culture and way of life? To see something different to where we are living and embrace the world for all of it’s differences?
So what’s the answer to this? Homestays over hotels, immersion over separation, guest at the same level as host. This cultural exchange, between two humans, at the same level, can only be positive. We start to see similarities over differences. We are more unified.