Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


Advertisement
Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our email newsletter in your inbox.



Advertisement

Advertisement
Body recovered in Lake Michigan, EPD examining identity of body
Evanston’s ‘Seeds of Change’ theme inspires unity at Fourth of July parade
Lawsuit against Pritzker School of Law alleges its hiring process discriminates against white men
Evanston Fire concludes recovery search and rescue efforts for missing swimmer after ‘exhausting’ all resources
Independent review of athletics department released, puts forth key recommendations
City Council approves $800,000 settlement over Fountain Square leaks, discusses leaf blower ordinance amendments
Northwestern hosts groundbreaking ceremony at Ryan Field construction site
Advertisement
Perry: A little humility goes a long way

Brew, Hou, Leung, Pandey: On being scared to tweet and the pressure to market yourself as a student journalist

June 4, 2024

Haner: A love letter to the multimedia room

June 4, 2024

Independent review of athletics department released, puts forth key recommendations

Northwestern hosts groundbreaking ceremony at Ryan Field construction site

June 25, 2024

Derrick Gragg appointed as Northwestern’s vice president for athletic strategy, search for new athletic director begins

June 13, 2024

Advertisement

The secret (and short) lives of cicadas on campus

NU Declassified: Prof. Barbara Butts teaches leadership through stage management

Everything Evanston: Behind the boba in downtown Evanston

Ecotourism expert discusses sustainable travel

An ecotourism expert explained the changing concept of travel benefiting both the environment and local people at the first quarterly lecture in the The Roberta Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies’ Global Development Series on Thursday night.

Martha Honey, the co-director for the Center for Responsible Travel, gave a 90-minute talk about the history of ecotourism, which began as an outgrowth of the 1970s environmental movement, as well as its current trends, to an audience of about 30 people.

Ecotourism involves traveling to exotic places to support local conservation efforts.

The Center for Global Engagement invited various student groups that plan trips outside of Evanston to Thursday’s talk. Patrick Eccles, the assistant director for CGE, said the center’s mission lines up well with the idea of globally sustainable travel.

“We hope to learn how we can integrate some of these principles when students and faculty travel for University purposes,” Eccles said. “We need to know how we as members of the Northwestern community can remain sensitive outside of the Evanston bubble.”

Weinberg senior Kalindi Shah, external president of GlobeMed,  said her interest in ecotourism was sparked by a study abroad experience last year in South Africa. She learned about the scholarly side of ecotourism and said she was surprised it was not as cynical as expected.

“Everything has flaws, but this is definitely a healthier direction for the tourism industry,” Shah said. “It’s more sustainable and a more socially-conscious method of tourism.”

She said while on a group safari, she questioned the authenticity of the program. Honey discussed the impact of such conventional tourism and ecotourism both in the environment and local communities. She explained ecotourism exists around the world, not solely in developing countries, but until recently little has been regulated.

“What we’ve seen in the last few years is a dizzying array of growth,” Honey said. “We are able for the first time to measure the environmental, social and economic impacts, and find that when these three are done well, they can be positive for the area.”

Much of the growth comes from large resorts and cruise ships, both of which inundate an area with unsustainable numbers of tourists. Honey said these vacations do little for local businesses and often harm the environment.

“Cruise ships are better off taking the passengers out to sea, letting them drink and gamble, and come back without stopping anywhere,” she said.

In addition to discussing the benefits and drawbacks of ecotourism, Honey spoke about the growth of voluntourism, in which travelers spend part or all of their vacations volunteering.

“Voluntourism has been a feel-good activity on the part of travelers and not a critical look at communities,” she said. “It’s not simply a Band-Aid or a feel-good activity for the travelers.”

Eccles said he hopes the audience integrates these principles into future travel.

“When we enter into communities for research purposes or service learning, we need to consider how we prepare ourselves to be constructive and tread lightly in new contexts,” he said.

The next Global Development Series talk will take place Feb. 5, 2013 with Daniel Sumner, an agricultural research economist, speaking about the effect of American subsidies on developing nations.

More to Discover
Activate Search
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Ecotourism expert discusses sustainable travel