I know I haven't been too good about posting just yet, but honestly not much is happening...
This semester was my first in the MIST program. So we are just barely dipping our toes into the issue of Sustainable Tourism. I do have to say, though, that with every passing class I am getting more and more excited for the future and all the possibilities we have.
To give you a brief synopsis of our focus, we are studying a sort of tourism paradox, if you will. Tourism is something that is growing immensely with every generation becoming more and more fascinated with seeing the world. But what many fail to recognize is that tourism can be destructive...
Think about the environment, the animals, plants, and people living in the communities that you are visiting. How do you think they feel about foreigners coming to the place they call home? Aren't you even at least a little guilty "looking down" on tourists? Think about that a bit... There are different species that are being pushed towards becoming endangered simply because the increase in tourism worldwide is causing more development and traffic through their natural habitats. While nature is resilient, we are quickly reaching a breaking point. Then we encounter a cultural issue when our Western ideas and values begin to impose on the local culture of these places we are visiting. We, as Americans, want everyone to think as we do. But don't we often travel to a place simply because we are curious about their way of life?
Sustainability is all about preservation. Preservation of the environment, the culture, and the overall well-being of the world. So our job is to find that balance, or threshold, where tourism can help as opposed to hurt. We are learning how to implement these ideas into business plans and government entities and overall increase education on the issues at hand.
It really does get interesting when you dive into the nitty gritty details of different tourism destinations. Hopefully I will be able to break things down more for you and give you more examples as time goes on. But for now, thanks for reading!
Until next time!