October 2020. We just returned from two weeks in the Dolomites, Italy's Marche region and San Marino. Although our trip was primarily a personal one — to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary — we also wished to see for ourselves what was happening on the ground in travel and tourism (vs. talking about it on Zoom). Our goal: to witness firsthand how businesses are operating and adapting during this time.
What will be the impact of the coronavirus on tourism and travel? How will the tourism industry respond? Definitive answers don't exist. Instead, we offer some ideas for destinations, travel companies and travelers to operate from a position of strength, choosing deliberate response over reaction and staying the course towards greater sustainability so we emerge stronger.
As we respond to the climate crisis and consider tourism’s role in it, we wonder if we might be missing a bigger picture – and a greater opportunity — by focusing so squarely on flights. We offer some research and tools to travelers and the tourism industry to help season and expand our thinking on the topic.
Can social media influencers on Instagram use their sharing and promotional power – something which helped accelerate overtourism – to affect and shift traveler decisions for positive impact? We offer a set of tips and considerations that each of us — professional influencers as well as everyday social media users – can employ to be part of a solution to overtourism.
If you’re looking for more meaningful travel interactions and are interested in giving something back as you travel, it’s important to understand the concept of social enterprise — what is it, how it works with local communities, and where to find it in the travel industry.
If you are interested in volunteering internationally or going on voluntourism trip, what are the ethical considerations you should be aware of? Which questions can you ask to better ensure that your actions and any financial contribution are aligned with your values and expectations? That you don't end up doing unintended harm with your goal of helping or “doing good”?
You care about the kids you encounter while traveling, right? Are children ever props in your photos? Do you location tag them? What about giving money to begging children? What about passing out gifts to random kids you meet? What about those school visits? How does it all impact children and their well-being? Can any of your actions cause unintended harm?
A recent release of a set of child welfare in travel guidelines and code of conduct seems to be tipping the apple cart. What many of us thought were perfectly acceptable behaviors when we encounter kids while traveling are now called into question.
Accelerating tourism growth and the threat of overtourism are here to stay. This is our advice on how to travel better in the age of overtourism — tips and actions which will improve your travel experiences and also help to reduce pressure on the places you visit.
Reflections on the broader import of International Women’s Day, including why investing in women around the world is an investment in our future generations. We also provide practical ideas on how travelers can seek out organizations, tours, travel service providers and businesses who directly invest in or support the well-being of women around the world. In this way, the travel decisions and spending choices we make can make a big difference to support local women, their businesses, and ultimate their communities.
Previously, we collaborated with the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to explore Why The Freedom to Travel Matters. In connection with another campaign we have been invited to examine how we might redefine tourism. In doing so, we reaffirm a connection between the freedom and responsibility of the modern traveler. We follow by considering how we might re-imagine our travel decisions to better satisfy our individual needs today while sustaining the wellbeing of the communities we visit tomorrow.