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24 Apr, 2013

Is Tourism The Most Destructive Enterprise? – YaleGlobal

Travel has grown exponentially since the 1960s, and tourism employs more people than any other industry. As political developments have opened borders, as new technologies in aviation and communications provide new access, few destinations go unexplored, suggests Elizabeth Becker, author of Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism.

She explains that any human endeavor can be transformed into a travel package – religious pilgrimages, medical tourism, education and more. Yet, travel without protections adds stress to the most popular destinations. “Every traveler has a story about a favorite spot transformed by tourists who leave chaos and waste in their wake and government officials who prefer to count short-term benefits of allowing chock-a-block hotels over the long-term costs of environmental degradation.”

Those who love travel most – including the hosts who earn a living and the travelers – have a responsibility to prevent destruction of cultural, historic and environmental treasures. – YaleGlobal

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