What Roles Can Tourism Play in Combating Diseases and Supporting Healthy Communities?

What Roles Can Tourism Play in Combating Diseases and Supporting Healthy Communities?

This week's current issue article focuses on the sixth UN Millennium Development Goal: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases, and the tourism industry’s responsibilities in supporting the effort. What is your business, destination or organization doing to help local communities combat diseases? Do you have any ideas and suggestions on how tourism can contribute to these efforts? Learn from and get inspired by some of the examples covered in this article, and head over to TIES-EXCHANGE to add your comments and ideas related to this topic! (Member log-in required)


Healthy Communities Healthy Communities Healthy Communities


The world has a long way to go to achieve its health goals. Despite making some progress on the Millennium Development Goal of "Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases", many countries still suffer from the ongoing HIV and AIDS epidemic, with Sub-Saharan Africa experiencing the highest rate of infection.


All sectors of society are affected when a pandemic hits: sick parents are unable to work and support the family, children either get sick and/or drop out of school to help. The tourism industry has a direct stake as well as an important role in addressing health issues around the world. The following are some examples from TIES members who are engaged in initiatives supporting public health and community well-being:


Healthy Fights around the World

The South African Department of Health's 10 Point Plan focuses on ensuring the implementation of existing treatment plans, providing treatments and testing, and training care givers. There are also many private organizations assisting their local communities with healthcare: The Stanley Safari Lodge in Zambia supports the Mukuni Health Center's HIV and AIDS project; The Kyambura Gorge Lodge and the Mount Gahinga Lodge in Uganda both backs the Bwindi Community Hospital.


There are many examples and inspirations to be found in other regions as well. The Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge in Nepal supports local health and social development initiatives, working with the Free Village Clinic, which provides treatment and medicine to villagers at no cost, an emergency vehicle and a Medical Assistant. The Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort and Natural Reserve in Guatemala provides medical support through the Laguna Community Care project by offering free stays at the lodge for medical professional who in return donate appointments and treatments.



Ideas, comments, questions? Join our discussions on TIES-EXCHANGE! *If you're not yet a member of TIES, and would like to access TIES-EXCHANGE and other member networking and learning resources, please consider joining TIES today.


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As the world's oldest and largest international ecotourism association, TIES seeks to be the global source of knowledge and advocacy uniting communities, conservation, sustainable travel..




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The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference will highlight global challenges and local opportunities, supporting sustainable development of tourism and promoting solutions that balance conservation, communities and sustainable travel.

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