Can Tourism Ever Be Terrible?
Casting the critical limelight on holiday tourism is a relatively recent phenomenon.Until just a few years ago, tourism was always hailed – by individuals and nations alike – as a fruitful activity that spurred economic activity, increased cultural appreciation and goodwill among different countries, and generally made the lives of locals better.
However, it’s 2018, folks – high time to get some facts straight. Tourism today accounts for almost a whopping one-tenth of the world’s carbon emissions. There are approximately two billion tourist arrivals annually, and this figure is rising by at least six percent a year.
Want a more visual description of the crippling effects? In many frequently visited destinations, rent prices have soared high enough to push out the locals themselves. Long preserved landmarks have been desecrated. Wildlife has dwindled. The air in supposedly scenic locations has become unbreathable. Once quaint areas are brimming with litter. The list can go on…
So what precisely is overtourism? Well, although it’s a multifaceted issue, here’s a fundamental description: a popular destination being inundated with tourists in an unsustainable way.
Thus, sustainability is the key world. Overtourism is on the rise, now more than ever before, because the tourism industry, like most other industries, is obsessed with growth. Everything is about profits, and no second thought is given to the impact. This monetary focus obviously trickles down to the consumers as well. You don’t need to travel to realize this – just look around you! How many of us give a second thought to sustainability when it comes to our fashion choices? Sadly, a very small percentage. How many of us think about how ethically those delicious fruits on sale were produced? Again, very few of us. This is why platforms like Travel Rebel – and people like YOU, people who are willing to educate themselves – are the need of the hour.
The good news is that recognizing the problem is the first step to finding solutions. As I, and countless other mindful travelers have observed first-hand, travel can be sustainable, wholesome, beneficial for all, and enjoyable… all at the same time.