Just as ‘bucket list’ has become an overused marketing term to convince travelers of places they ‘must’ visit, issues of overtourism have increased and become more clear. The impact—environmentally, economically and socially—that travelers have on local communities around the world was made painfully clear when the coronavirus outbreak occurred and tourism all but disappeared.
Images of pristine coastlines along major cities took our breath away as these regions had never seen the water so blue; wildlife emerged, no longer having to hide and seek protection in their natural habitats, and night skies cleared to remind us of how awe-inspiring a starry view can be.
However, while many of us basked in the views of forgotten natural pleasures, countless global communities were struck by the financial loss of travel restrictions. Many of the artisans, farmers, local tourist guides, family-owned restaurants and self-made servicemen and women that make travel destinations unique were suddenly without income when the steady flow of tourists ran dry.
This is what we do not want to forget when travel picks up once again: the people. The individuals and powerful communities that color our travel experiences with vibrant and unforgettable hues. The residents of the rich and beautiful lands that are worth traveling across the world to see.