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How much trickles down to her? RACHELE CARETTI/FLICKR, CC BY-SA

 

Wouldn’t it be great if something as simple and pleasurable as international travel could help end something as grinding and enduring as global poverty? After all, the industry is booming, growing at least 4 percent a year since the 1960s (with a brief slowdown in 2009), according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

In 2016, over 1.3 billion international tourists spent an estimated U.S. $1.4 trillion. That’s the equivalent of Australia’s gross domestic product, dispersed around the world.

The UN has even declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, heralding the role of international travel in reducing poverty. But how much global tourism money really makes its way to poor countries?

Read it here. 

By Susanne Becken, Griffith University at Huffington Post.

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The real world on reel: 20 Oscar-worthy movies about development

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Movies have the power to inspire, to influence and to raise awareness on a wide range of topics. Depictions of real world issues on reel are not uncommon; there have been a growing number of films exploring subject matters like racism, sexism, conflict, poverty and inequality. By Yula Marie Mediavillo.

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In some parts of Ethiopia, finding potable water is a six-hour journey. People in the region spend 40 billion hours a year trying to find and collect water, says a group called the Water Project. And even when they find it, the water is often not safe. A possible solution: a new product called Warka Water, an inexpensive, easily-assembled structure that extracts gallons of fresh water from the air.  By Tuan Nguyen. Read more.

September 18 2015 -Photojournalist Taylor Weidman recently stopped by a graveyard in Bangkok, Thailand.

In the city’s Ramkhamhaeng neighborhood sits a lot peppered with parts from jets and commercial liners. What’s most interesting, however, aren’t the planes, but rather the people who live among the wreckage. Parker Molloy and Taylor Weidman Read more.

 

October 07 2015 – In 1962, six-year-old Vasco Galante was treated to his first cinema trip – to see Charlton Heston in the Hollywood epic, The Ten Commandments.

But despite the blockbuster’s eye-popping sequences, the images that most impressed young Vasco came from a short advert shown before the film, which showcased the elephants, lions and buffalo in the verdant floodplains of Gorongosa National Park. Joe Miller Read more.

October 01 2015 – This year’s World Tourism Day theme ‘1 Billion Tourists – 1 Billion Opportunities’ sounds like a slogan for an advert to entice consumers to buy a product like a laundry detergent or hamburger. The UNWTO invites us to celebrate 1 billion tourist arrivals per year and the seemingly unlimited growth of the travel and tourism industry; it is hoped that by 2030, almost 2 billion people will have embraced the tourist lifestyle. Travindy Read more.

September 23 2015 – If you only read some of the more reactionary publications around, you might be mistaken for thinking that tourism’s response to the growing refugee crisis was mostly anger at having holidays spoiled. “Holidaymaker misery” ran one headline. “British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays ‘awkward’ in Kos” announced another. Jeremy Smith Read more.

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The International Ecotourism Society, TIES, defines ecotourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” The concept arose in the 1970s from the general global environmental movement, and by the 1990s was one of the fastest-growing tourism sectors. Ecotourism appeals to responsible travelers who want to minimize the negative impacts of their visit, and who take special interest in local nature and cultures. Carole Simm. Read more.

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I still remember him vividly. He was a little boy, maybe 10 or 11 years old, who navigated the streets of New Delhi by lying, stomach-down, on an old skateboard, and pulling his body along with his arms. He didn’t have any legs. He rolled over to me, looked up into my eyes, and asked for money. Struggling not to cry, I reached into my pocket and handed over the equivalent of $10, less than what I spend on coffee each week. Giving him those $10 might be among the most destructive things I’ve ever done. By Jillian Keenan. Read more.

Photo: Eric Johnson

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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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