Back in October, 2011, I was thrilled to meet two enterprising and energetic young men, Eytan & Marco Bollinger, of Iseeitravel whose mission had become to empower conscious travellers to act responsibly and to encourage destinations to think twice before succumbing to development pressures.
Given the mounting evidence that congestion and over or too rapid development can be as destructive as mineral extraction or deforestation – see last post “12000 words on tourism’s capacity to destroy” – young, emerging destinations should look to the work of these guys and I’m delighted to celebrate their progress and dedication since my October post. Their web site is www.iseeitravel.org and I urge my followers and supporters to put your weight behind Marco and Eytan and back their first major project.
iSeeiTravel is a media company dedicated to promoting conscious travel. Eytan and Marco produce brand-building documentary content based on real places, real people, and real travel experiences.
Their first major project, called 2.5%, is designed to help protect one of Costa Rica’s last standing areas of pristine rainforest on the Pacific Coast of Latin America – The Osa Peninsua, home to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity and 50% of Costa Rica’s native species. The National Geographic have called the region “the most biologically intense place on earth”
Residents there have experienced both the good and the bad of tourism. Thirty years ago, an area to the north of the country – Guanacaste – looked a lot like Osa does now but 30 years of ever expanding, intensifying tourism development have changed that and not for the benefit of local residents. Here’s a short video clip that Iseeitravel made to highlight the problems caused by unconscious, uncaring tourism development that is nearly always promoted by developers who then leave the area or airlines and international hotel companies whose owners often live miles away.
Iseeitravel are raising funds to create a compelling documentary that presents a case for developing Osa as a conscious travel destination and you can support them today by visiting their fund raising project here
As discussed in my presentation to the Samoan tourism industry last month, there’s another tsunami coming in the Southern hemisphere and that is the explosion of outbound tourism from the emerging economies of Asia and South America. Destinations in the path of this tsunami of demand need to wake up and prepare for these changes now. They can choose, as Bhutan did a few years ago to stem the inbound tide and sustain a quality of experience, or they can surrender to external pressures and, at best, limit their future options or, worst, forfeit the chance to develop livelihoods that, in addition to being environmentally and financially sustainable, generate long term net benefits to the host community of today and tomorrow.
Time is of the essence – my conscious friends have just 19 days to raise another $18000 to support their project.
So please,” help build a community of travellers who care” and make a small donation here and spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, Google + or your choice of social media network.