· 2 months ago

Should we be encouraging people to travel?

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travel blogger, Rachel's Ruminations

I see that a lot of bloggers, in their bios, write things like "My goal is to inspire people to travel." It makes me wonder: is that really what we should do?

Do we really want more people to travel, given all of the climate and sustainability consequences that can arise from travel?

Or should we be encouraging people to travel better rather than more? And if so, how?

2 months ago (edited)
Travel Blogger, Travel Journalist and Video Producer, TravelWorldOnline

It depends on how you interpret "inspire". It certainly is not posting a list of "instagramable places".

I just looked up, what "sustainability" means. The answer the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development has, is this: "Sustainability or sustainable development means meeting the needs of the present in a way that does not limit the opportunities of future generations".

This definitely includes the people, who are involved in providing travel services and not only them. In my opinion we should encourage people to travel in a way, that adheres to this definition. I think it should be our goal to show travelers, how they can travel sustainably.

Sustainable travel should not stop at simply telling travelers to fly less. It should give them detailed information on what they can do in one place. This automatically reduces the time they spend driving or flying. And it puts fun back into traveling.

It should also provide them with tips on how and where to interact with locals. This includes the human factor in sustainable travel. Of course it's also helpful to give tips on where to stay in sustainable accommodations, what kind of transport can be used sustainably. But in my opinion, this is not sufficient.

2 months ago
Travel Blogger, Here To Travel

It’s an important question and one we asked ourselves a year or two ago. Once we started considering the answer, it became abundantly clear that we had to change our mission to encouraging our readers to think more carefully about how they travel and where they travel to.

Since then, we’ve focused more on less explored destinations, we launched ‘Give Back’ to highlight activities that give back to communities & the planet and we’re now working on a tool to highlight sustainable accommodation options.

Travel is clearly very important for so many reasons and bloggers/influencers should be encouraging people to travel. But, I think it’s also never been more important to encourage and assist the public to make better choices. I think the more we normalise ‘sustainable travel’, the more accessible and attainable it becomes.

2 months ago
travel blogger, Rachel's Ruminations

So much of tourism seems to be about self-indulgence: going to a beach resort, eating and drinking and lying on a beach. I doubt sustainability is often a consideration. I know some resorts are trying to get more sustainable, but I wonder how many tourists are doing so... So I guess I agree that we writers/influencers should be trying to influence them to at least choose resorts that focus more on sustainability...

When you talk about detailed information on what they can do in one place, what do you mean? I see a million articles on "X things to do in Amsterdam" or "Off-the-beaten track things to do in Amsterdam" or "3-day itinerary in Amsterdam" which all list the same things and don't help improve Amsterdam's overtourism problem. Doesn't giving more options just encourage them to stay?

2 months ago
Travel Blogger, Travel Journalist and Video Producer, TravelWorldOnline

I agree, that there are millions of lists like the ones you mentioned out there. They just list the things that are available without really introducing the activities in detail. This is what is necessary to get people really interested. Why don't we show, what can be done? Go to a farm shop and interview the farmer what's on sale. Tell the story behind the products. Visit a cheesemaker and show, how cheese is actually made. Introduce the different sorts of cheese that are available. Go to a store that sells local costume and tell the story behind it. I think we have to delve deeper into the things, that can be done, not just scratch the surface by writing lists. A list is a good way to inspire, but it should not end there. It should lead to deeper information on detailed articles.

Tourism should try to attract the right kind of travelers. But I don't see many destinations doing this. Amsterdam may be starting to work in that direction by its current "Stay away campaign". Venice has limited the number of cruise ships allowed to visit per day. And there are more examples. They are all steps in a good direction, but they also should be accompanied by attracting a different kind of tourist.

2 months ago (edited)
travel blogger, Rachel's Ruminations

Yes! Yet many bloggers pretty much only do listicles like that. I've been trying as much as possible to focus articles on just a single site or sight, though I don't always manage it. I like writing reviews, for example, of a single museum or experience or whatever and giving lots of detail. And that's what I like to read as well.

Amsterdam is trying, but their efforts are pretty minimal. They're raising the hotel tax, for example, but it's still not that much. And there's lots of political opposition to stricter measures, coming from business owners who profit from the tourists. The real problem is cheap flights from all over Europe that bring people in so easily, especially hen parties and stag parties. That's a big issue in Prague as well. I'd be happy to see flights within Europe banned and more money going into the train systems.

2 months ago
Freelance Writer and Travel Blogger, Superbubbie

I like the idea of traveling to less touristed places. I also like the idea of writing about the people behind local products. Most of my articles include interviews with locals. Some tour companies (Planterra) take tourists to local businesses. I think we also have to ask if these enterprises really benefit locals, or are just for show. Taking public transport is also a way to cut down on emissions. I also want to start to do voluntourism, possibly teaching English an living with a local family.

2 months ago
Founder, 196 Destinations

I think this is a good start. Making people aware of what locals are doing, and local businesses produce, and what the customs are - perhaps even fun bits where they can get involved.

But it's how people get there that makes the most difference. Using low-carbon means, such a train or coach, compared wtih flying really is essential now. Flying has to be severly curtailed, and not encouraged.

What's the view like on your last journey? #TrainWindowViews

2 months ago
Founder, 196 Destinations

I really believe that people should stay connected, and travel.
However, we need to put a stop to encouraging people to take annual long-haul flights. It's really not sustainable.
That's what we want to achieve with totravelto.com - make it easier to take long-distance trains, but also keep it fun, through en route adventures, and #TrainWindowViews.

Europe has a great train network, that gives travellers 8x to 20x, less pollution than flying. But many still choose to fly. There's some obvious, and less obvious reasons why, but ultimately if we can encourage more long duration holidays (14+ days) then there is more scope to have an overland adventure by train en route.

What we as an industry need to do is highlight the many local aspects en route to a further destination, to make stopping off en route, and enjoying slower travel, more of a normal thing to do. With the investment in new train rolling stock such as OBB's fantastic new nightjet night trains, we also have other options - and if you combine with an interrail pass, you extend your same days travel.

So, yes, we need to curtail the selfish bloggers a little. Some will fly no matter what, right? But there's many others that want to transition to taking more low-carbon travel. Our community is here to help( www.facebook.com/groups/1079093089735773 ).

LETS GO. VAMOS :)

Ian.

2 months ago
Ian
Founder, Travel Massive

"However, we need to put a stop to encouraging people to take annual long-haul flights."

What about people who live far away in remote places (like me)? Without long-haul flights I am excluded from even a chance to get to places like Europe.

2 months ago
Founder, 196 Destinations

Well, in 2002, on the anniversay of 9/11 I flew into Sydney. I'd not had a holiday in 7 years, of working, and decided finally it was time, and my sister was there and I got to visit. WEHAY. They call a flight to Australia a trip of a life-time. And I guess that's the deal right. If you've already visited Europe, as I have Australia, then perhaps that was your trip of a lifetime? I have flown short-haul a few times since. I should count them up, but I am going to say 20 times.

My last two flights-, I got a last minute invite to Morocco (2020), and I was in Malaga. It was to see a friend, and I didn't want to miss it. So I flew. But felt very guilty, as 75% of my recent travel was then overland.

The last one for me was from Málaga to Amsterdam in June 2020, timed so I could get work in Berlin. I had trains booked but the borders were covid closed, and it was extremely urgent I got back to an economy I could work in. (Sadly, it still took a while).

Recently, I used the last of my money to travel from Spain to a wedding in Wales overland - mostly by train, but was 1 coach and 1 ferry involved too. Great to see UK friends again :) However, it would have been cheaper to fly. But I honestly just could not live with myself if I had. Very very keen to promote train travel, by making an easier to plan & book long-distance service at totravelto.com (wait list available).

Currently looking to raise micro investment, either on a monthly basis ( patreon.com/totravelto) or a one off basis at www.buymeacoffee.com/totravelto - you and others can also keep track of what we're up to on our LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/196-destinations

I believe it's urgent we stop long-haul flying, but there may well be emergencies for some flight such as parents being ill. But we need to invest in making the alternatives easier to pick, and we need to be picking leisure locations that are closer. Wine Glass Bay and the Remarkables in Tasmania, or perhaps over to NZ/Melbs if you're in Tasmania.

The habitable aspect of earth is between 220ppm and 480ppm of CO2. We're currently at 420ppm and rising. Time to put a halt to avoidable carbon burning. 2016 and 2023 were the hottest on record. Australia was on fire not many years ago. Time to act is now. Not in the distant future.

2 months ago
Ian
Founder, Travel Massive

So what you’re saying is that people who live in remote and developing countries that haven’t got established rail networks like Europe or China should be restricted from air travel?

Sorry mate but I find this an extremely entitled viewpoint, especially if you’re asking for donations to carry out what you preach!

2 months ago
Founder, 196 Destinations

We are on a mission to help keep people connected, in a low-carbon manner, by making it easier to pick long-distance trains. It's an extremely hard job, and far from an entitled position.

The climate emergency has been known about for a very long time. The time to start acting was sometime ago tbh. I'm saying that the modes of transport that cause he most pollution should be stopped and limited to emergencies. It's pretty logical from the science above, and how we preserve humanity beyond this generation. To ignore it is to say to hell with the island nations that will vanish, and those low lying countries such as Bangladesh..

How can you look into overland routes through PNG, and south-east asia for your next trip?

2 months ago
Ian
Founder, Travel Massive

From figures I can find, aviation contributes between 2.5% and 5% of human caused climate change.

I think there’s more optimal things we can do to reduce our footprint than single out travel.

2 months ago
Founder, 196 Destinations

Air is betwen 8 and 20 times more polluting than train travel. Other land based travel modes arn't much more, such as Flix's coaches. Additionally the pollution from air is placed into the worse place - the upper atmosphere. it's a very effective green house gas up there.

Best to encourage people to travel, but to do so low-carbon.
It's not so easy, and we want to make it easier at totravelto.com - at least from a planning/information perspective. It's certainly easier in Europe, but it is a global problem.

The argument is more fully set out here: flightfree.co.uk/why_flight_free/
OBB have just given lots of optimism by building brand new night trains, and rolling them out from this month:
www.seat61.com/trains-and-routes/nightjet-new-generation.htm

2 months ago
Publisher, weninchina.com

There is a strong Eurocentric bias in the phrasing of the question and in many assumptions of posters in the thread. Americans do not get 2+ week vacations, period, and it takes 3-4 days just to get across our country by surface transport. China gets a long holiday but everyone else is also scrambling to travel at the same time. Brazil does not have reliable surface transport at any scale.

Is there also an undercurrent of Europeans not wanting to see “others” like Asians, Africans, etc in their communities? Because part of travel is not just being the one who goes somewhere else, it is about being in your own place & interacting and learning with the rest of the world. New ideas work in both directions and narrowmindedness is what we’re supposed to be fighting in this industry.

2 months ago
Travel blogger, content creator & writer, Home in the World

I came here as an Australian to say exactly this. I have found that people in Europe/UK are more likely to have an entitled, privileged viewpoint on this. While doing a 'once in a lifetime trip' to Australia from Europe may be possible, for an Australian/Kiwi to do a 'once in a lifetime trip' to Europe (a continent with dozens of different countries and cultures) and see even 25% of it is pretty much impossible. If I could take trains across multiple countries, visit Paris for the day, take a 3-hour flight to Morocco or a 5-hour flight to New York, I could also preach the virtues of short-haul travel. I live in one of the most isolated cities in the world - I can barely get out of my own state in a 3-hour flight. I don't agree with constant travelling (from an environmental perspective), but telling us to basically stay in our corner of the world while they flit around with so many options on their doorstep is frankly quite galling.

1 month ago
Managing Editor/Publisher/Journalist, Cruise & Travel Report

We should always be encouraging people to travel, it is the only cure for bigotry, small-mindedness, and ignorance.

2 months ago
Tourist Guide / Safari Consultant, Wild Jungle Trails

Yes Uganda and Africa has a whole lot to see ! We should however encourage responsible travel !

2 months ago
Founder & CEO MattieJack Media, Photojournalist, MattieJack Media / 111 Hours

Absolutely, but the encouragement goes with also teaching awareness of global events that could impact a location of travel.

2 months ago
Founder, CEO, Wild Nectar Collection

Hi Everyone! Thank you for this thoughtful question. Since the demographic I work with, Baby Boomers and older Gen-Xers ages 50-75 are going to travel anyway because they have been waiting their whole lives for their turn, in 2021 I decided to start a sustainable luxury travel company, Wild Nectar Immersive Travel Collection to help them choose the most sustainable options. We are a travel retailer offering 4-star and 5-star custom travel, expedition ships, and small group journeys.

Our sustainability expert, Bronwyn Worrick is Envision and WELL Building credentialed and we're working to assess our suppliers' sustainability efforts, offering an Eco Score for every trip we sell. We only work with operators implementing sustainability plans. We also offer carbon offsetting options to our travelers and want to become a clearing house for best sustainability practices in the industry since we have access to all this supplier information. I also want to include sustainable travel options of the future in our collection, like high-speed sailing ships to cross the Atlantic as an alternative to flying, airships, and off-grid, fully sustainable accommodations.

We're just getting started and it's a huge mountain to climb yet we plan to assess our suppliers at 4 different levels, starting with publicly available information and then level 4 includes doing onsite assessments. If any of the bloggers reading this would like to interview Bronwyn about our sustainability efforts and vision, we would love that. We love travel as you all do. Our clients love to travel so it's our mission to help people travel as sustainably as possible so we can still explore the earth while being part of the climate solution not the problem. With everybody's help, we can preserve the ability to travel if we learn to do it differently. If you're interested in what we're doing, I hope you'll look us up and get in touch. : )

2 months ago
Ian
Founder, Travel Massive

I think this comment is off topic

2 months ago
Founder, 196 Destinations

I'd love to hear more Joy :)

2 months ago
Founder, CEO, Wild Nectar Collection

My apologies! Starting Wild Nectar is my answer to the question so please accept my apologies if my response was not in alignment with this question.

2 months ago
Founder, CEO, Wild Nectar Collection

Thanks, Ian! I'll message you directly. : )

2 months ago
Co-founder of MNE Chapter, CEO, HYVÄ Coaching & Consulting

Many places and people depend on travel & tourism income. Montenegro is one of them. So yes, encouraging travel but the right kind - responsible choices of transport, seasons, where to stay, what to buy, incl. experiences; "less is more" and content creators not copycatting "hidden gems" (often not so hidden at all...), "top 10" lists etc. However, all this shouldn´t feel like homework but provide joy & good feelings for both travellers and locals. Good (social, ecological, economic) impacts are today well measurable and should belong to the toolbox of every marketer as well. One recommended page comes from Green Destinations: goodtravel.guide.

2 months ago
Travel Writer, American Detour

Sure, but depends on where.

2 months ago
Event Organizer & Traveler, GlobalGaz

Travel makes up approximately 10% of global GDP and employment. So tourism is a giant economic driver. I think we all need to inspire better travel, whether that is with our followers or readers, but also with the providers and vendors in tourism.

2 months ago
CMO, UnTours & UnTours Foundation

Longer, slow(er) trips will make a massive difference if the idea gets more traction. People are going to travel, the travel industry is going to continue to encourage it. By helping people understand that longer trips (meaning fewer trips and fewer long haul flights needed) actually create more enjoyable and memorable travel opportunities.

2 months ago
Japan content creator

My personal aim is not to inspire people to travel more, but rather to show them more meaningful ways to spend their time in a place they already intend to visit. If your goal is to help people travel more sustainably, you could do the same, in showing them how to spend time in x location while keeping their carbon footprint to a minimum, for example.

I live in Japan, and write about the country for English speakers, so inherently there are long flights associated with that. Sometimes I worry about encouraging people to fly here and adding to the use of carbon across the world, but I have to remind myself that most of my audience is already intending to visit Japan, I'm just showing them where to go once they're here. If I start to question whether I will inspire more and more people to visit who wouldn't have in the first place, I can no longer write about Japan at all.

2 months ago (edited)
Cofounder at a social nomad app, www.punta.app

We should encourage people to meet different realities to them, to be able to understand other cultures and happenings better, and see also from different perspectives their way of doing. Travelling enriches, and there are a lot of ways of travelling. I would not focus on whether we should promote travelling, but rather how should travelling be.

2 months ago
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Should we be encouraging people to travel?

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Should we be encouraging people to travel? was posted by Rachel Heller in Discussion , Slow Travel , Sustainability . Updated on Dec 15, 2023 (2 months ago). Should we be encouraging people to travel? is rated 5/5 ★ by 4 members.
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