We all know that the tourism industry is insanely oversaturated.
Many popular destinations are known for the detrimental issues tourism has caused their communities and environment.
Think Barcelona, Fiji, Bali, Venice, and Egypt.
It’s a controversial topic, but it's one we need to talk about. Is it ethical to travel to places like this? Whether the issue at hand is environmental or political, there's a lot to consider.
What does it mean to visit a destination known for its corruption, human rights abuses, and oppression?
Whether you visit these destinations is entirely up to you.
Personally, I DO visit these controversial destinations... but I make sure to do it extremely consciously.
In my opinion, by visiting controversial destinations, we can gain a deeper understanding of the situation and encourage other travellers to be conscious of their impacts.
Avoiding these destinations can mean we are avoiding the issue,
To me, it feels more important to go, learn from my experience there and speak up about it.
FOR EVERY ONE PERSON BOYCOTTING TRAVEL OUT OF MORALS, THERE ARE ONE THOUSAND PEOPLE TRAVELLING UNCONSCIOUSLY AND LEAVING A NEGATIVE IMPACT. GO THERE, DO IT RIGHT AND USE YOUR VOICE.
Here’s a few excerpts from travel industry experts on this side of the story:
"We're not in the business of sheltering our travelers from reality, good or bad. (when they return) they know that they've had the paradoxical, and all too common, experience of traveling to magnificent destinations, seeing magnificent sights, meeting magnificent people, who are in trouble. And they almost invariably come home eager to help, not forget, those people."Jim Sano, Geographic Expeditions
“The ethics of visiting places like Myanmar and North Korea have previously been the subject of passionate company-wide debates at Intrepid. The majority decision has been that we don’t boycott, but that our trips include as much genuine real-life local interaction as we can, because it exposes both our travelers and locals to the reality that we are all human. We genuinely believe that travel connects people, it builds understanding, it makes us less prejudiced and more empathetic. We need more of that in the world right now.” James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel