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.
What this article goes on to explain is how positive thinking – described here as ‘thriving’ – can counter the effects that come from the negativity outlined above, from reduced memory to diminished performance. Based on studying people in a series of organisations in different industries, one of the authors has found that people who attain this state are more resilient, experience less burnout, and are more confident in their ability to take control of a situation
“Behind the jargon what this is really about is how we address the challenge of biodiversity under threat, move away from fossil materials like plastic and concrete, and use nature in a sustainable way, all of which could be summed up by “living in harmony with nature”.”
“In the new ‘consensual contract’ between employer and worker, what’s required is a commitment from the employer to safeguard the wellbeing of their people, and a commitment in return from employees to take personal responsibility for their performance of their job.”
“Could loneliness not only be damaging our mental and physical health but also be making the world a more aggressive, angry place? And if so, what are the implications for a cohesive society and democracy?”
“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.”
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“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.”