Should you travel right now? It’s an ethical question that has come up recently — especially as COVID-19 cases spike across multiple destinations that have reopened to international travellers and others yet are still grappling with controlling the spread of the virus at home.
In order to move forward, tourism needs to restart, but can it be done more responsibly for both visitors and locals alike when the time is right?
As the world slowly starts to reopen, what can tour operators and travellers do to ensure they aren’t negatively impacting destinations? What should travel agents consider before booking trips at a time when commission continues to be their livelihoods? Even before the pandemic hit, overtourism and climate change were just some of the key challenges those in the industry were tackling on the path to a better future.
In search of answers to questions about how the travel industry can come back the right way for travellers, communities and the planet, Travel Courier chats with The Adventure Travel Trade Association, G Adventures, Beyond Green Travel, and Tourism Cares.
As destinations begin to reopen to travellers, the crowding that put extreme pressure on many destinations must be managed in a new way — not only the safety of the traveller but for the survival of local communities and ecosystems, points out Paula Vlamings, the Chief Impact Officer for Tourism Cares, the non-profit, philanthropic arm of the travel and tourism industry.
“Opening the floodgates in the same way will get us the same problems as before so travellers should rethink those bucket list trips for off peak times, off the beaten path alternatives, or travel in a way that supports nonprofit organizations and social enterprises that are working toward sustainable solutions.”
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