A Contrarian View: Why Travel is Harmful to the World

Travel is an excellent thing. To quote Maya Angelou:

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it could introduce the theory that if we try to understand each other, we might even become friends

I really believe in travel. Heck, I’ve a whole website and career focused on making people do it more!

But, in the rush to get visitors to travel, we often forget the negative impact of travel on communities and the surroundings. We discuss how travel could be a force once and for all: wearing down social barriers, connecting people, teaching people about life, and themselves but….

Is an excessive amount of travel a bad thing?

Will there be an argument to be produced for traveling less?

Are most of us, even with the very best intentions, doing injury to the very thing we wish the most?

There is nothing ever perfect but easily had to make a disagreement against travel, they are the points I’d make:

Travel destroys local cultures – The globalization of food, travel, hotels, and language diminishes the culture we traveled up to now to see. Rather than going out to get the unknown, a lot of people stay static in resorts and hotels, never exceptional country they are in. We head to McDonald’s or consume food we can reach home. It’s as if we happen to be never set off. Wherever we go, we appear to bring our western culture around.

Travel makes the world Disneyland – From the hill tribes of Thailand to the Andes to cowboys of America, travelers have a particular expectation of just what a place is and the way the people should act. We happen to be see that expectation. We happen to be see Crocodile Dundee, Mayans, Native Americans, and hill tribe cultures in Asia. Cultures all over the world then placed on a show to provide us what we wish and along the way “Disneyize” their culture. I hate seeing the tiny hill tribes in Thailand or Native American shows in the us or “traditional” dance in Vietnam. It’s not how they really act. It’s how they act for tourists. Doesn’t that just cheapen the knowledge and, ultimately, cause more harm than good?

Travel destroys local economies – All that travel in big hotels and global restaurants doesn’t help the neighborhood economy. The majority of that money is removed by corporations to the top office. Travelers go using what they know & most will remain at the Marriott before they stay static in some unknown place, never considering where the money is certainly going. Travel could be a huge economic boon but only when the amount of money stays local.

Travel hurts the surroundings – Traveling isn’t the most eco-friendly of activities. Flying, cruising, eating dinner out, and driving around all have a poor impact on the surroundings. Most people if they travel constantly use towels in resort rooms, leave the air conditioning equipment going, or forget to carefully turn off the lights. Jetsetting all over the world in airplanes or driving around within an RV all donate to global warming. Between waste, development, and pollution, we are doing just what The Beach said we’d do – destroy the paradise we seek.

Travel produces short-term profits – Everyone tries to seize that last dollar. Travel isn’t the only industry this happens with but it’s the most highly relevant to us. Rather than building for the future, people overdevelop in the name of short-term gain. You view it in Thailand using its developed beaches, in Cambodia, in southern Spain, and in NEVADA with the casinos (where’s all that water likely to result from?). It’s everywhere. Money now, forget later. Eventually, the tourists will minimize coming because they’ll be so put off therefore sad the wonder they came for is fully gone.


Since there is an evergrowing effort among visitors to mitigate these downsides, the simple truth is we can’t ignore overtourism and the negative side of travel. Yet I don’t think these reasons should make us stop traveling. Actually, I’m just thinking aloud here. Simply letting the wheels turn.

By the end of your day, these negatives drop to personal choice. It is simple to travel the world rather than do these things. I don’t fly much, I don’t stay static in giant hotels, I avoid chain restaurants, I stay static in local guesthouses, and I won’t do tours that exploit animals or the surroundings.

Things are just good or bad if indeed they make sure they are to be. In the event that you stick with travelers, never escape the tourist area, never research from your own phone, waste water, and ride elephants, yeah you’re travel is harmful to the world.

But in the event that you do the contrary, then there’s no reason your travel can’t be considered a force once and for all.

Even though many travelers are proficient at taking into consideration the environment and cultures, almost all aren’t. Therefore i do think you will find a strong argument to be produced that travel does result in a lot of issues that should make us rethink how and just why we travel. There’s a downside from what we do and we have to take it upon ourselves never to do those ideas so we are able to keep travel the power that it’s.

Let’s be considered a force once and for all and change just how we travel through the use of our money to aid better local environmental initiatives and companies.

As the saying goes, leave no trace behind.

Don’t stop now! Read on these articles on ecotourism:

  • Is Eco-Tourism Really Eco-Friendly?
  • Can We Balance Travel and the surroundings?
  • Overtourism: How exactly to Stop an evergrowing Problem
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