4. Contributing to the Regenerative Economy through experience of place

If the goal is to move past “doing less harm” to creating more good, then  tourism is well placed to do that because of its ties with and utter dependence on places. Tourism is all about a guest encountering a host in a specific place, the host’s home place.

Furthermore, the travel and hospitality sector can play a central role in accelerating the big shift towards a Regenerative Economy that’s aligned with Nature’s purpose and processes.

Every place on earth expresses Nature’s beauty, power, complexity in a unique way due its location in relation to the sun, its unique geology, hydrology, history, and the culture of its peoples. As indigenous people know, each place has a unique song, signature, personality or essence that’s sacred, that can be experienced and exists to be celebrated and revered.

Our deep, most intimate connection to Nature cannot be learned through the mind (analysis) but through a whole body experience involving not only our five senses, but via the additional ways of knowing felt through our guts, hearts and souls and expressed through the many and varied aspects of human creativity – art, dance, poetry, music, architecture, gardening, cooking, theatre etc.

Because hosts tend to stay put in one place ready to receive guests, they are best able to appreciate what dwelling in (inhabiting) a specific place means. As they grow in familiarity with its rhythms, they become of that place, they fall in love with it, becoming enchanted, becoming truly indigenous. They are then in a position to share its beauty and evoke a powerful sense of wonder and awe – feelings that science has shown not only to have enormous healing power at a personal level but to be the precursor to a deep sense of caring and protection.

Instead of place branding or even place making, Conscious Hosts learn the art of place sensing using a form of cellular intelligence that connects our unique identities to the vast mystery of the universe and the intelligence that underpins it. Developing a sense of place “offers a unifying story that weaves together our relationship with nature, art and community and inspires us to re-imagine not only how we live and lead but the nature of the universe itself.”

Perhaps the greatest gift a host could give a guest, after having shared his home, would be to pass on to the guest an intense desire to apply their newfound sensitivity to seeing their own home, as Proust suggested, “ as if for the first time but with new eyes”?

Love of place unleashes the personal and political will needed to make profound change. It can also unite people across diverse ideological spectra because place is what we all share: it is the commons that allows people to call themselves a community.

Pamela Mang, CEO The Regenesis Group