Hey there! I haven’t been very active on this blog lately and also I haven’t traveled much in the past couple months.
But on the plus side, I have made a huge progress in dealing with the reverse culture shock caused by my return to Italy. Yes, I still feel a bit like a fish out of water and sometimes I want to run away but fish don’t run *sigh*.
Also, my little brain has been thinking over and over about how tourism has evolved over the last decades and it keeps yelling at me: “SOMETHING MUST CHANGE!”
But what’s wrong with tourism?
Quite a few things.
Tourism has increased exponentially in the last 10 years, and it is expected to grow even more in the years to come – which is great, considering that it already represents an important percentage of many countries’ GDP.
But there is a problem: IT IS NOT SUSTAINABLE, not the way it is today and not for the long haul.
There are volumes and volumes that talk about why tourism has become unsustainable but, in a nutshell, these are the three main issues:
- mass tourism is destroying our cultural heritage, ecosystems and local cultures
- many people feel like the high number of tourists visiting their communities are a hindrance to their day-to-day life
- only a small percentage (about 5%) of the tourism-generated income actually goes to the host countries
I pledge guilty!
I am one of those guys flocking at Machu Picchu, lining up at the feet of the Eiffel Tour, treading the Great Wall of China and causing bike traffic at 5 am on the way from Siem Reap to Angkor Wat.
Is there a solution?
I think there is. There has to be one! But we need to change the way we do tourism.
In my next post I will come up with a few practical ways we can help improve tourism and make it more sustainable (sorry, I’m not a fan of long articles). In the meanwhile, I would love to know what you guys think about this issue and if there is anything we can do to change things.