All this have encouraged us to rethink on the concept of Better tourism and Dynamic community
Tourism can show us the magic of the world, and it can teach us the truth of staggering human inequality and a planet in peril. Tourism has taught me that riding elephants in Wildlife Parks or shark-cage diving in Rivers contributes to widespread animal cruelty, that the poles are melting because we fly too much, and that how I spend my vacation has permanent repercussions.
Good travel opens our minds and helps us reject prejudice and respect different cultures. It erases man made borders and boundaries and connects us through our common humanity. But 96 percent of the globe is under some form of travel restriction at the moment, and at least 90 countries have sealed their borders. The world is frozen because of the corona virus and the systems that supported such travel are flailing.
Slowly, our world will reconnect — border by border — and open up. And yet, returning to baseline should not be our metric for success, because mass global tourism had a very sordid underbelly. We must stop looking to “recover” the tourist industry but rather, work to transition travel and tourism to a truly sustainable level.
Flight & Tourism Line will restart some activity in August/ September 2020
The pandemic can thus become a time of reckoning, allowing us to consider how to solve problems that have become endemic to the industry, like over development and over tourism, indiscriminate pollution, environmental destruction, unfair labour conditions, wildlife abuse, the exploitation of women and children, sex trafficking, marginalization of indigenous peoples, and corruption. The business of travel and tourism must now use this pause to face its ugliest realities, be they the excesses of the cruise ship industry, or how a passing trend in luxury tourism might cause an elite hotel franchise to dynamite a coral reef for a row of overwater bungalows in Polynesia.
What the Black Plague can teach us about how society shifts in a pandemic
After all of the industry’s lip service to “sustainability” we now have a chance to implement a truly “sustainable” travel industry. Broad global standards and protocols must be put in place, and a different travel industry built with them in mind. Travel and tourism need to accept their role in climate change, global economic impact, environmental sustainability, wildlife conservation and social justice.
Above all, we as travellers — and especially those of us blessed with the extra income and leisure time to be tourists — have to make better decisions. We must ask, “Who/What/Which resource am I exploiting? How can I make sure my adventure benefits the individuals, communities, cultures, and natural spaces I encounter? How can I support small and medium social enterprises? How can I help empower women around the world? How can I help protect the wildest bits of our planet and make sure they survive this century?”
We want to hear what you THINK
The corona virus pandemic has highlighted so many unsustainable aspects of our globalized world, and everyone — hotels, airlines, amusement parks, resorts, destinations, cruise ships and travelers — must take stock of our role in this. Governments must be accountable to us, and we must be accountable to the greater good. We must become a sustainably connected world, or else, like the nursery rhyme says, “We all fall down.”
We must expect a more sustainable standard — and some of us will have to change our dreams. We might have to look away from the crowded Sistine Chapel and seek out a lesser-known fresco in Ravenna, and forgo seeing that tiger “in the wild” in favour of volunteering for a conservation organization in India. It will still be an adventure — it’ll just be a different one than the photos we’d been jealous of before.
We have never been so connected as a world, and we have never been more isolated than most of us are right now. We will get back to traveling, but when we do, we have to do it right.