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Poorism tourism: A highly unethical new trend in travel?

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Those seeking a chance to see how the other half live, can now pay to go on special tours of the poorest neighbourhoods in the world. “Poorism” is the latest trend in tourism that invites people to find authenticity in a destination by looking at its most impoverished areas. Some examples of the tours include a trip to the Bronx, Brazil’s Favelas, the townships of South Africa and New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. While this type of tourism strives for authenticity, some are coming out and saying it is unethical and exploitative voyeurism.  

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A global marketing campaign launched by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to promote Volunteer tourism was one of the winners of the first Digital Innovation Asia Awards conferred at a ceremony on June 10. Conferred the “Most Impactful Campaign” award, it was designed to tap into a growing industry trend known as Voluntourism — travellers seeking “A Purposeful Vacation” that goes well beyond more than just having fun during a holiday abroad. Theodore Koumelis. Read more.

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Creating greater awareness of the consequences of tourism in Macao and the legacy that will be passed on to the next generation – increasing responsible behaviour within tourism development

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We are constantly confronted on the news now of issues of global warming and destruction of natural habitats and resources. How tourism is managed and planned will also have consequences on the environment and the communities within this. The United Nations Environment Programme in 1995 stated sustainable consumption as ‘the use of services and related products which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life while minimizing the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of waste and pollutants over the life-cycle so as not to jeopardize the needs of future generations.’ — Glenn McCartney. Read more.

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Is Good Corporate Citizenship also good for the Bottom Line? The short answer is yes. That’s the finding of Robert G. Eccles, Ioannis Ioannou and George Serafeim from their recent paper “The Impact of a Corporate Culture of Sustainability on Corporate Behaviour and Performance.” — Stephen Dubner, Freakonomics. Read more.

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