There are approximately 370 million people that belong to the indigenous communities in the world and they make up 5% of the global population. While their survival has been constantly pressured by modernity and pressures of the emerging societies, they continue to thrive, occupying a quarter of the planet’s surface area, and most importantly, protecting 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity.
Their pure knowledge of their culture and innate talent in protecting nature make indigenous communities one of the most important sectors of a country. To be able to face the challenges of the modern world and at the same time, sustain and maintain the environment that they promised to protect, they are presented with one solution that will not only help them conserve their heritage but will also promote economic and cultural benefits in their home country.
In fact, researchers estimate that the immediate global value of culture and heritage-based tourism can reach over $1 billion. In regions from the Asia Pacific, tourism-driven from partnerships with the indigenous community has reached over $320 million. Employment generation is also another advantage of focusing on cultural and ethnic tourism, with over 50 million jobs and 75 million related employments (indirect benefits) in several APEC countries.
Travel industry experts and local government leaders have successfully presented the necessary guidelines to work with indigenous communities to create the foundations of sustainable tourism.
Their efforts include interacting with members of the indigenous communities and sharing knowledge and information to help safeguard their natural resources. It also involves reviewing already existing codes set by the indigenous groups and other concerned organizations.