In this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier, assistant editor, Greg Coates reports that if the future of travel is to be sustainable, it seems education and respect – for people, places and things – must remain a top priority, at least according to a panel of experts at last week’s Future of Travel event hosted by G Adventures.
Held before a packed house at the University of Toronto’s Koerner Hall, the panel discussion was led by Daniel Houghton, CEO, Lonely Planet, Kris Reyes, Global TV reporter and anchor, Jamie Sweeting, president, Planeterra Foundation, and Audrey Scott of Uncornered Market. A presentation by G Adventures’ president Bruce Poon Tip followed the discussion, which was themed around 2014 World Tourism Day’s “Tourism and Community Development.”
The panel was in agreement that today’s travellers must leave something behind, and not just take.
“You should know the product you’re buying – one that employs locals, for example,” said Reyes. “Travel consciously, be educated before you go.”
Scott agreed, noting that’s it’s a win-win situation. “Travellers come out changed, communities come out changed. It’s an authentic exchange.”
The group also indicated that success in tourism needs to go beyond dollars and cents and include such things as how many lives can be improved.
Scott summed her philosophy up succinctly, “My focus is on respect. Respect for people, respect for the economy, respect for the local community.”
“[When travelling], don’t act in a way your parents wouldn’t be proud of. Be respectful,” added Houghton.
Sweeting encouraged travellers to be better informed by doing a little research before heading to the airport.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about where my money is going. How it’s being spent,” he said. “Is it staying local, helping out the community? It is easy to find out.”
For the full story in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier, click here.