At EQUATIONS we are working to identify specific tourist sites to focus our work around, and build a strong resilient multi-stakeholder platform demanding tourism to be democratic, just and equitable at each of these sites. We plan to work with a diverse range of stakeholders at each tourist site to improve collectivism at both the local and the national level and build a range of capacities. In a sense we will be facilitating a bottom-up process to manage these Tourism Sites. (Destination Focussed Work)
Our focus will be to work with local self-governing institutions to facilitate governance, planning, and decision making on tourism, including regulation and compliance. We will also work with local communities to ensure their participation in decision making on tourism and enable a participatory envisioning of tourism. We intend to work with the tourism industry to enable equitable and sustainable practices, ensure compliance with government regulations, and also build sensitivity and awareness.
Over the last several decades EQUATIONS has worked with various communities across the country, local governments, movements, policy makers, and tourism industry service providers. We've worked towards ensuring industry and government practices and policies are more community focussed and equitable and helped local governments empower themselves. We've built networks of like minded individuals and organisations (civil society organisations, alternative tourism practitioners, and government authorities) and enabled advocacy and cross-learning.
While local self-governing institutions are often open to engaging with tourism as a priority development agenda, these institutions need to assert their authority in decision-making processes around the development of tourism in their own jurisdictions and include the voices of local communities.
There has been a growth in alternative tourism practitioners across the country. Many understand tourism as a development issue and are eager to work with affected communities and want to build more participatory tourism models. However, there is no common forum to promote and build consensus around their practices and make tourism truly sustainable. At the same time, the mainstream tourism industry needs to acknowledge the impacts of their practices and policies on people, communities, and workers at tourism sites.
Meanwhile, the landscape of tourism development and associated economies, financing and investment is constantly changing. Organisations (from non-profits to unions to cooperative societies amongst others) working in this space need to constantly update their knowledge and innovate in their strategies to address these changes.
The multi-stakeholder platform will: