Sadly, the tourism industry just gets things wrong sometimes and, at Responsible Travel, we strive to highlight the pitfalls of our desire to discover the world. Sometimes at any cost. Or else, carried away by our desire to have a much needed break, we just turn a blind eye to irresponsible tourism. This is also not helped by the fact that many travel companies and the travel media fail to highlight the serious issues and impacts of our travel on many destinations. Mass media coverage is given to abuses arising in fashion, food and forestry but holidays are often seen as sacrosanct. They are our time to escape the stresses of everyday life, and no one wants to be made feel guilty about travel or think of themselves as an irresponsible tourist.
The other issue is that travel media is often funded by the travel industry through complimentary trips to journalists, many of whom are therefore resistant to give negative coverage. There are always exceptions, but travel editors, in general, don’t like to shout about the dark sides of tourism. Not when a big tourist board, airline, all inclusive-holiday company or cruise multinational is about to spend thousands advertising on their website. We know this from first-hand experience, as we campaign
against various detrimental activities in tourism, and gaining coverage in the travel press is always an uphill struggle. We’re not bitter. We just know that the media, and other travel companies, can do better. Read more about this in our feature, “Is travel writing in the National Press truly independent or influenced by advertisers?”