What makes Alternative Tourism different from Conventional Mass Tourism?

AT or so-called alternative tourism is a respond from critiques of conventional mass tourism. The fact that mass tourism dominates tourism inside a region due to its non-local orientation has been criticized, as has the fact that relatively little money spent within the destination really remains and generates new income. Mass tourism often neglects the environmental impact aggravates the negative impact of activities involved in it.

AT is a broad phrase that refers to a variety of tourism tactics (e.g., ‘suitable’, ‘eco-‘,’soft’,’responsible’, ‘people to people’, ‘controlled’,’small-scale’, ‘cottage’, and ‘green’ tourism), many of which claim to provide a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional mass tourism (Conference Report 1990, cited in Fennel 2015).

According to Dernoi (1981), the benefits of AT will be felt in five ways: first, individuals and families will be more benefited from the accommodation rather than big company or monopolist, which will be based in local houses and will funnel revenue directly to families. Thus, Families will learn management skills. Second, AT will assist the local community by providing direct cash to residents and improving home quality while avoiding big public infrastructure costs. Big public infrastructure frequently changes the authentic land use and replace it with monotonous harmful façade. Moreover, AT will assist the host country in preventing tourism revenue from leaking out of the country by locally providing tourism and tourists’ needs. Next, AT may also aid in the prevention of social tensions and the preservation of local customs. AT tourism would be a great platform for communities to build social cooperation among them. AT is great for budget-conscious travelers or those who desire personal interaction with locals in the industry generating country. Finally, AT may improve international, interregional, and multicultural understanding, which will benefit international relations.