This past Tuesday September 27th 2011 was the United Nations World Tourism Day. Did you know? Don’t feel bad – I didn’t either. Until however I was invited to an event in Toronto, Canada called: The Future of Tourism.
The night kicked off with a video interview of David Suzuki, a Canadian known around the globe for his environmental work and passion for protecting mother Earth. The man is brilliant to say the least.
The tour company formerly known as Gap Adventures, was the host of the night. They were unveiling their new name: G Adventures (they dropped the ‘ap’ after years of lawsuits with GAP, the clothing brand). While it was interesting to be there as they announced their new title it unfortunately became a G Adventures commercial. We spent an hour listening to all the incredible things the company has done.
Now don’t get me wrong, they’ve done some pretty fantastic stuff around the globe but I wanted to hear about the actual future of tourism and how the rest of the audience and I can play our part in creating a better world through what we do.
Travel blogger Gary Arndt of Everything Everywhere also gave a presentation, discussing the relationship between technology, the internet and the role it plays in both tourism and the global workplace. In his opinion, and mine as well, if you can do your job from a Starbucks at home, you can work from a Starbucks anywhere in the world. The Internet is making it easier for people to blend their work and their ‘life’ together.
Having participated in my first ‘United Nations World Tourism Day’ I have learned the following five things:
1. As someone who owns a company directly related to tourism, I have a responsibility to work only with companies that have a positive impact on our planet.
2. The tourism industry is the largest employer of women in the world.
3. As a traveler and video blogger, every meal I eat, every room I rent, and every souvenir I buy is an opportunity to support the local community I am visiting and contribute to their economy in and ethical and sustainable way.
4. Tourism is the greatest transfer of money from the rich world to the poor world.
5. I have the coolest job!
Do you make an extra effort to contribute to the communities you visit while traveling?
Share some of your conscious traveler tips in the comments!
Together we can work to make this world a better place – simply through exploring new places.