Unethical destinations: To go or not to go?

September 11, 2019

When you plan a journey to an unfamiliar place, you learn about the wonders of its culture, the things that make it beautiful, and also the problems its people encounter even before you go. A simple search online can easily turn up hundreds of reasons to visit⁠—or not to visit⁠—any destination.

What do you do when your dream city turns out to be a hotpot of unethical practices? The simple answer would be to not visit the place. If you still decide to go, what happens?

What happens if you boycott

Tourism is one of the biggest contributors to most countries’ economies, accounting for 10.4% of global GDP, making travelers powerful in economic terms. If you decide to spread the word and encourage people to boycott tourism to a certain destination, you contribute to lessening the country’s economic growth. This may negatively impact citizens. Boycotting might not be the best idea but either way, you must not turn a blind eye.

What happens if you support

Traveling opens your eyes to wonderful things, but also atrocities. It enables greater awareness of what’s happening all over the world. Through visiting a country and engaging with locals, volunteering, and other immersive experiences, you are making a hands-on contribution. Moreover, you will inspire empathy and understanding, locally and globally. When you support, immerse yourself and avoid contributing to the atrocities. Support the people whose cultures you fall in love with.

Spread the word

Once you’ve done your part, share your experiences with friends and fellow travelers. Share what you know, what you’ve seen, and how you tried to help. Every little step contributes in little ways that may add up to a bigger kind of change.

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