Allison Jane Smith, The Next Trend in Travel is… Don’t! Bright Magazine, June 7, 2018
Ultimately, there’s only one surefire way to avoid contributing to the problems of tourism: don’t go. But assuming that’s not an option, there are ways to reduce your footprint. As Fodor’s suggests, don’t go to places that explicitly don’t want tourists, such as Venice and the Galapagos. Don’t go to places with economies that are overly dependent on tourism, such as Bali and Aruba. Don’t go to places unless you have a connection to a community there, suggests travel writer Bani Amor. And don’t go to volunteer or seek life-changing experiences abroad at the expense of the exotic “other”; such opportunities exist closer to home.
Through the WI Lens
The tile of the article is of course provocative, but its content raises an issue that is likely to gain prominence, affected as it is by two converging trends: (1) Economic and political nationalism are rising, forcing the world to retrench. Travel and tourism are booming, but optimistic assumptions about linear expansion will be hit by countries that declare it “unpatriotic” to travel abroad. (2) The world’s most beautiful and desirable tourism spots (like Bali described in this article) are suffocating under mass tourism. Organisations like the World Travel and Tourism Council are trying to suggest possible solutions, but none is easy. The bottom line: be prepared to hear more and more that tourism inflicts damage, and most importantly, prepare yourself on how to best mitigate this risk.
“On such fragile foundations are built the first steps towards a more ethical kind of business, and who knows what virtuous circles might result?”
“Scientific evidence recently emerged that, contrary to earlier beliefs, Covid-19 can be spread by tiny droplets that we breathe out when we respire, called aerosols.”
“Economic wellbeing is part of the story, but it is also about finding less stressful lifestyles, in which healthy diet figures as a meaningful measure of success.”
“The industry has every asset needed to be a guiding light in the shift toward personal health priority. Will that become a prevention legacy, a ‘phoenix rising’ from the Covid-19 ashes?”
“Looking at the bigger picture, putting the measures in this order represents a lost opportunity that the pandemic could have offered for a cultural pivot pivot towards getting people more focused on their health, a powerful statement of intent.”
“Employment is necessary to fulfil our most basic human needs such as food and shelter. Any significant increase in long-term unemployment will spell a retrograde step for human wellbeing like no other.”
“All roads lead to a wellbeing anchor, whether that be economic/financial, physical, mental or emotional: all contribute to a progressive and inclusive cosmopolitan world. The answer should not be a choice of one or the other but of a joined up and compassionate solution for society, business and individuals.”
“The paradox is that we continue to do this in spite of recognising that striving to become ever-more productive is an intrinsically unhealthy behaviour, leading to stress and too often, a sense of failure.”
“The same broad-sweeping structural racism that enables police brutality against black Americans is also responsible for higher mortality among black Americans with Covid-19,” Maimuna Majumder, a Harvard epidemiologist working on the Covid-19 response, tells Vox.
The take-out from this? Wellbeing cannot exist at a more elevated level without our basic needs being met.