Is Travel a Right or a Privilege for 2021 & Beyond

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Is Travel a Right or a Privilege for 2021 & beyond?

This past year has been a trial in patience for the travel industry & a financial crippling moment for many. One shining light is that “over tourism” has temporarily vanished.  Throngs of tourists that have over taken spectacular Machu Picchu & historic cities like Venice & Amsterdam by cruise ship & day trip, to the detriment of the locals, are gone.  Nature has been allowed a second wind in our absence. Port communities remembering a more charmed area prior to the arrival of the mega cruise ships are reconsidering their limits.

Could this pandemic pause in tourism actually save the industry from itself? As a travel advisor I would like to think so, but it will take a conscience effort & a change of attitude by both the Travel Industry & the traveler. The lust for profits & pleasure at the price of environmental destruction must end. Balanced tourism is needed.  It lifts communities & protects nature from exploitation, animal poaching & over fishing.

Prior to the pandemic mass tourism was in overdrive & unstainable at its manic pace.  Consumers reaped the initial benefits of cheap flights, affordable mega ship cruising & unregulated air B&Bs, but at a steep cost to the destination.  Too many tourists & the pollution they generate make for a less authentic experience & a eco disaster.  Short term thinking which enables over crowded destinations must end.

It’s time that the travel industry & the international tourism boards educate the consumer on why changes in their travel behavior is important & makes a difference. It’s time that the fortunate traveler cares enough to enquire about the environmental impact of their travel experience.  Travel is a privilege.  Those with the means to engage this privilege must be encouraged to do better.

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