Travel is a major global industry, but in 2017 it attracted unprecedented resentment and retaliation towards tourists. A growing global backlash against tourism extended from tropical rain forests to urban destinations like Rio de Janeiro and Venice.
I have studied tourism’s social and environmental consequences along the coastlines of Colombia, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, in the rain forests of Peru and Ecuador, on the islands of Fiji and the Galapagos and across the savannahs of South Africa and Tanzania. My research and that of numerous other scholars spotlights a key fact: More tourism is not always better. Increasing the number of visitors has generated profits for travel companies – particularly the cruise ship industry – but it has not always benefited local communities and environments where tourism occurs.
Fortunately, once people are aware of the often surprising ways in which their trips impact local people and places, it becomes easy to ensure that their travel has more positive consequences for the destinations they visit.
A demonstrator holds a Basque-language banner that reads ‘Tourism = a poverty salary’ during a protest against massive tourism in San Sebastian, Spain, on Aug. 17, 2017.
This is an excerpt from an article originally published by The Conversation.