Do you live or work in a major tourism destination?
Are you happy and content with life, or miserable due to over-tourism? Or perhaps somewhere in between?
A new global survey aimed at finding out local residents’ happiness in World Heritage sites needs your participation!
Titled Planet Happiness, the study targets the effects of escalating over-tourism. The purpose is to show that measuring community wellbeing and happiness is a more important metric – compared to GDP, money, and perpetually growing visitor numbers.
The 15-minute online survey is available in 18 languages and is open for anyone to do. The survey measures key indicators; such as satisfaction with life, access to nature and arts, community engagement, standard of living, life-long learning, and health.
“The purpose of tourism in destinations such as Barcelona, Brasilia, Kakadu, Luang Prabang, Kyoto, Yosemite, Mt Everest, Victoria Falls and other renowned places is to strengthen and support the happiness and wellbeing of local people,” said tourism consultant Dr Paul Rogers, co-founder of Planet Happiness.
“If tourism fails to do this, it is neither responsible nor sustainable, and local policies should change accordingly.”
In the recent years, over-tourism is becoming a major concern in visitor hotspots around the world, especially World Heritage sites. At the same time, there is growing interest in happiness and wellbeing issues among individuals, communities, small and large businesses and nation states.
“The survey will show people where they are doing well compared to other tourism destinations, and possibly where they should seek to improve their lives," Rogers added. “It’s a new, fresh, more responsible and holistic way of looking at tourism.”
Travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing industries, with over 1.33 billion visitor movements across borders in 2017. Today, more than one in ten people are employed in tourism globally.
The aggregated local and global data from the Planet Happiness Survey Index will be open source and accessible to everyone with an interest in sustainable tourism and community wellbeing. The project will never share information that could personally identity any individuals.
Planet Happiness would also like to hear from destination managers, universities and any sponsors who would like to support the initiative. Further information can be found here.