Why travel? Environmental destruction as a marketing device for the tourism industry

Double hulled vaka, Rarotonga 2010

As the chorus of professional environmentalists makes us worry about the ongoing destruction of nature, even this worry serves as a marketing device that makes us cherish seemingly untouched landscapes — far away enough to make resource-intensive travel and commercialised hospitality a necessary prerequisite for savouring it.

There isn’t much time left. Neither personally — it does take labour time to make the dough for travelling — nor, perhaps, will it be possible to enjoy the unspoilt nature in the decades to come.

Let’s better go and see the animals and the forests now. Or someone else will, anyway.

Well, on a more serious note: I think we need to change our work-vacation rhythm, change the way we travel. Look at the Polynesians:

The early Polynesians were an adventurous seafaring people with highly developed navigation skills. They colonised previously unsettled islands by making very long canoe voyages, in some cases against the prevailing winds and tides. Polynesian navigators steered by the sun and the stars, and by careful observations of cloud reflections and bird flight patterns, were able to determine the existence and location of islands. (Wikipedia)


You see, the Polynesians were not only adventurous, they also took their time. If we also did that, we wouldn’t need to hurry up so much to see everything in time.

Why do you travel? How fast? Feel free to share your thoughts.

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