The Climate Conscious Podcast

Conscious Travel with Marcelle Lawrence

October 28, 2020 Derval Barzey / Marcelle Lawrence Season 2 Episode 13
The Climate Conscious Podcast
Conscious Travel with Marcelle Lawrence
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The Climate Conscious Podcast
Conscious Travel with Marcelle Lawrence
Oct 28, 2020 Season 2 Episode 13
Derval Barzey / Marcelle Lawrence

Travel is a transformative experience that has the power to inspire, to empower and to make a positive impact. In the words of Marcelle Lawrence "As a tourist you go to have a nice time. But as a traveller you go to change your life." Marcelle  is the founder of Eco Island Travel which is the culmination of an inspiring experience as a volunteer in Guyana, and a love for nature. Based in Bermuda, this social enterprise seeks to change the way that we travel through an immersive experience that connects the traveller to the local community, its culture, cuisine and its challenges. It aims to engage and expose young, disenfranchised  youth to the marine environment and facilitate a deeper appreciation for this valuable resource. 

Climate change is an ongoing  thereat to the Caribbean region's tourism industry with its devastating impacts on both natural ecosystems and man-made infrastructure, from sea level rise and stronger, more frequent hurricanes. In addition, the COVID 19 pandemic has crippled this vital economic sector due to lockdowns and  travel restrictions. As we anticipate reopening and recovery, it's the ideal time to rethink the way we do tourism with a greater emphasis on sustainability, minimising the dark side of tourism: pollution, over-tourism, and repatriation of revenue. We must protect our natural assets such as coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass bed, building resilience not only for the sake of tourist but for the well-being of local communities.  

How can you become a conscious, sustainable, impact traveller? 

  • Avoid single use plastic
  • Intentionally support local producers. 
  • Consider extended stays 
  • Find out the needs of the local community and volunteer to assist 

We can even go a step further to regenerative tourism,  participating in initiatives that leave the destination better than we found it, for example assisting with conservation measures and managing the impact of climate change such as mangrove replanting

We gain so much from travel and if we are mindful, we can simultaneously give back, touching the lives of underserved and vulnerable groups. There are so many ways to make a difference. Start where you are. Do what you can. Progress over perfection.

Get in touch with Marcelle:

Website: https://ecoislandtravel.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ecoislandtraveller/


Stay connected with The Climate Conscious Podcast:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theclimateconscious
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theclimateconscious/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tcconscious1

Email: [email protected]

Support the podcast: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/tccpodcast


Thank you for listening!


Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Uk9D30o)

Show Notes Transcript

Travel is a transformative experience that has the power to inspire, to empower and to make a positive impact. In the words of Marcelle Lawrence "As a tourist you go to have a nice time. But as a traveller you go to change your life." Marcelle  is the founder of Eco Island Travel which is the culmination of an inspiring experience as a volunteer in Guyana, and a love for nature. Based in Bermuda, this social enterprise seeks to change the way that we travel through an immersive experience that connects the traveller to the local community, its culture, cuisine and its challenges. It aims to engage and expose young, disenfranchised  youth to the marine environment and facilitate a deeper appreciation for this valuable resource. 

Climate change is an ongoing  thereat to the Caribbean region's tourism industry with its devastating impacts on both natural ecosystems and man-made infrastructure, from sea level rise and stronger, more frequent hurricanes. In addition, the COVID 19 pandemic has crippled this vital economic sector due to lockdowns and  travel restrictions. As we anticipate reopening and recovery, it's the ideal time to rethink the way we do tourism with a greater emphasis on sustainability, minimising the dark side of tourism: pollution, over-tourism, and repatriation of revenue. We must protect our natural assets such as coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass bed, building resilience not only for the sake of tourist but for the well-being of local communities.  

How can you become a conscious, sustainable, impact traveller? 

  • Avoid single use plastic
  • Intentionally support local producers. 
  • Consider extended stays 
  • Find out the needs of the local community and volunteer to assist 

We can even go a step further to regenerative tourism,  participating in initiatives that leave the destination better than we found it, for example assisting with conservation measures and managing the impact of climate change such as mangrove replanting

We gain so much from travel and if we are mindful, we can simultaneously give back, touching the lives of underserved and vulnerable groups. There are so many ways to make a difference. Start where you are. Do what you can. Progress over perfection.

Get in touch with Marcelle:

Website: https://ecoislandtravel.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ecoislandtraveller/


Stay connected with The Climate Conscious Podcast:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theclimateconscious
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theclimateconscious/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tcconscious1

Email: [email protected]

Support the podcast: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/tccpodcast


Thank you for listening!


Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Uk9D30o)

Derval Barzey (DB):

Hello and welcome to the climate conscious podcast, a podcast for people who care about environmental sustainability and climate action.

I'm your host Deval Barzey.

Today's special guest is a lawyer, social anthropologist and an avid traveler who believes in the power of tourism to positively impact people and planet. To pursue her goal to work in a sustainable travel space, she completed the University of Pennsylvania's executive programme in social impact strategy. She is the creator of Eco Island Travel, a social enterprise to inspire, empower and connect travelers to new experiences and adventures that also positively impact the planet and people. She is a certified tourism ambassador. She's also a Good Travels Advisor, and has completed a certificate and sustainable tourism with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. 

I am delighted to welcome to the climate conscious podcast, Miss Marcel Lawrence. 

Hello and welcome Marcelle.

 

Marcelle Lawrence (ML):

Hello Derval. Thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure to be on here and to share about what I'm so passionate about and to speak about sustainable travel and what I do so thanks so much.

 

DB:

So Marcelle, as an avid traveler, and as someone as we like to say who is accustomed to catching flights and not feelings, how are you coping with our new reality of lockdowns, quarantine and closed borders? 

 

ML:

It's been a challenge, because I am very used to travelling at least once a year overseas. And as you might or might not know, Bermuda it's like 21 square miles. So we're a pretty small country and to travel abroad is quite normal. So it's been a challenge. But what I have been doing is I've been venturing at home, as small as we are, I am still venturing outside and spending a lot of time in nature and the outdoors and doing different things. So that has kind of alleviated the part about not being able to travel. So I've been enjoying Bermuda, staycationing and just trying to do as much as possible to keep myself occupied.

 

DB:

Yes, I think a lot of us are really either discovering or reconnecting with our local treasures.

 

ML:

That's right and have a new appreciation for our country. Right?

 

DB:

Yeah. 

 

ML:

No, travelling domestically, has its benefits. You know, it gives you the opportunity to rediscover your own country. But there's, I think, nothing like travelling overseas and experiencing different cultures, and a different environment. It's just something about that experience that is so transforming. But in the meantime, I'll take domestic travel.

 

DB:

Yeah, domestic travel over no travel. Right? 

ML: 

Exactly. 

 

DB: And I was watching that I did my last trip just before the whole meltdown. With the COVID-19 time I had the good fortune of visiting India and I spent a month there. And it was so amazing to experience their culture, their foods, their heritage. You are never the same after having that sort of experience. It stays with you. It stretches you. 

ML: 

Yes. 

 

DB: 

Travel is really a transformative experience, you know, and it's not just about going to Miami and shopping. To me, it's about experiencing a different culture, a different way of life. And…

 

ML:  

Absolutely. Couldn't agree with you more. Yeah, I mean, I like I said, I couldn't agree more. There's just something about travel, it's an experience that you really can't compare it to anything else. And like, because as a tourist, you know, you go to have a nice time. But as a traveler, you go to change your life, so to speak. And it's all about going with the mind. You know, trying to learn about the culture, mingling with locals, and just trying to have an immersive experience as much as possible. And when you go with that sort of the sort of intentions it's really life changing.

 

DB:

Indeed, and you mentioned the distinction between being a tourist and being traveler. You are the creator of eco Island travel. 

 

ML: 

That's right.

 

DB: 

So how did this originate?

 

ML:

So, ironically enough, it's it stems from my experience, which happened over 20 years ago. So I'm kind of showing my age. But if it's five years ago, I had an experience where I went to volunteer in Guyana, I was in university at the time, and this opportunity came up, I didn't know what I was getting myself into. It just was something new. And I've always been that type of person who tries new things. So I was just a young person. And there, I was going off to Guyana. And I was there for four months. And I was working with disadvantaged children. But the travel part came in, whereas I was able to venture out and explore and really connect with locals. And it was just a life changing experience ever since then, as long ago, as it was it stayed with me. And now I've had the opportunity to sort of like bring this whole experience and vision to life with eco Island travel. You know, I've always been an outdoorsy person. Anyway, I've always loved being in nature, and connecting with the outdoors. So those two experiences came together with eco as Eco Island travel. And the other thing when you go out and travel is the social impact part is that I'm really keen to include and expose young Bermudians, or young disadvantaged Bermudians, I should say, to marine tourism and the marine ecosystem or marine environment.

I am very keen to do this because I want everyone to be, I think everyone should be included in Bermuda’s future, in Bermuda being sustainable. And especially with the issues of climate change, and so many other issues that we have in the environment that we need diverse voices involved, we need to hear from everybody regarding how they feel about the environment. And the best way to do this is to get people connected and involved in their environment. So people who wouldn't normally be involved in environmentalism, I'm looking to really empower this group of young Bermudians I'm excited about that as part of Eco Island travel.

 

DB:

So your experience 20 years ago in volunteering in Guyana, would you say that was your introduction to conscious travel?

 

ML:

Yeah, you know, it was, it was, I was doing something I guess that I wasn't even aware of that was even called conscious travel. Conscious travels, sustainable travel, responsible travel, it has a few names to it. But it really comes down to the way that we, the way that we travel really. And so, you know, it's all about supporting locals, empowering locals minimizing any negative impacts that we have on the environment, like our carbon footprint, being really supportive of the local culture in a way that preserves the culture. So those are just some examples of like what conscious travel involves. And as I say it, you know, I was very fortunate, whereas when I was in Guyana, I had the opportunity to really have an immersive experience with the local people. You know, I learned so much about their culture, their cuisine, History.  It was just a fabulous experience. And like I said, I didn't know was called conscious travelling back then.

 

DB: 

Yeah. And as you said there are a couple of names for it: conscious, sustainable, impact. I came across a quote “Conscious travel is about human rights and sustaining communities, not just about environmentalism.”

 

ML:

I do like that definition. Yeah. And it's, you know, when we talk about sustainability, first things that may come to people's mind is the environment. But it's not just about the environment, because it has to involve communities and it has to involve the people in the environment. So, you know, its composed of so much more. And it's really, I think, really come to the forefront maybe the last few years, how important local communities are when we talk about sustainability. So yeah, I would I like that definition.

 

DB:

You mentioned that one of your aims is to use travel to empower young, disenfranchised people. Can you elaborate on how you are achieving this aim?

 

ML:

So where we are starting out, and one of the initiatives that, that we have done is just a simple beach cleanup, inviting young people to become involved in initiatives like this, we're as you know, they're getting exposure to the natural environment, and their eyes are being opened to what the challenges are, what some of the issues are. Because if you do a beach cleanup, this, within itself, opens your eyes up to some of the issues that we're having in the environment, you know, the amount of marine debris, and plastics that's found on beaches. I think this is everywhere, now. You can't go anywhere without finding plastic, you know, it's, it really gives them a good idea, or some really good insight as to, you know, what's impacting their environment and how they can help and how they can get involved and, you know, how it's how it's meaningful to them. So that's one of the initiatives. And going forward, we will be using ecofriendly activities to involve young people. And during our tours, we hope to empower and evolve young people on our tours, and eventually, because our tours will be marine based. And so eventually, they're gonna have a really good idea of the marine environment. And hopefully, you know, when to really engage with protecting the marine environment and just the natural environment in general.

 

DB:

So Marcelle, how can I become a conscious traveler?

 

ML:

Well, with being a conscious traveler, it's really a change in our habits. Because we've been doing things that have become so habitual over the years, that,  it's just be more mindful, and it doesn't happen overnight, because of the habitual way that, you know, we've lived for so long. So for example, one step, one simple step is to say, this is the first step that I started with, is to reduce your use of plastic bottles, plastic water bottles. Get yourself a reusable bottle. I think that is a really easy and simple way to reduce your environmental footprint with plastic. So me and my reusable water bottle, we just like inseparable. And I just find that it's, it can be really impactful as well, what I should really say is, you know, start where you are, because right now we're not really travelling in the way that we're accustomed to. So start where you are, which is probably at home. So just take small steps, wherever you are at home right now, in the country that you're in. And then when you are ready to travel, these does have its that will become like second nature to you. So, you know, reduce your single use plastics, avoid takeout. And then when you do travel, it's just like you're looking, you're more aware of these sorts of things, especially in countries where they don't have good waste management. So you're thinking, well, you know, I need to cut down my plastic, and it helps when you go overseas. So those are just some ways and of course, you know, where you're at home, buy local, support local. And then when you travel, you're going to be in the same mindset where you're looking for, how can I support locals wherever I am, you know, how can I empower them? So this is just a few days of becoming a more conscious or sustainable traveller to start right where you are.

 

DB:

Yes, and I think that's a common theme whenever we talk about sustainability, because essentially, you're changing our habits. And it takes time. So I like to emphasize progress over perfection. And small making small consistent changes.

 

ML:

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. It's just it's just about making a start, and like you said, being consistent. And, you know, it's not gonna be perfected overnight. Because this is the habits that we have to change. So, you know, don't be hard on yourself. Just start somewhere.

 

DB:

Yeah, and from doing this podcast, you recognize that sustainability has a role to play in everything that we do. Absolutely. It's about applying those principles across the board. And I particularly like the emphasis on the social impact. The people. Especially, I think, when we may probably visits a resort an all-inclusive resort, and we are kind of cut off from the realities of the local environment.

 

ML: 

Yeah, I mean, inclusives, they're great. If you want to go as a tourist, you know, right, you don't have to be, you don't have to leave the resort, everything is there for you. But because I think we can, we can gain quite a bit from when we travel. But you know, we can, as long as we're giving as well, and finding ways of how we can give and empower. And I think that from that, that experience of giving and empowering the local communities. With all-inclusive resorts, you know, they're grateful for some people, but it kind of defeats the purpose of travel. And that's just my opinion, because I think that travel up the hill, you just miss out on the whole experience of what travel can do. So I, you know, me myself, when I travel, I would avoid an all-inclusive, or, you know, if I have no other option, I would venture out and make sure that I'm supporting the local people, people who need it more, you know, people need to travel dollars more. So that's, that's just me.

 

DB:

Yeah, it really requires a level of mindfulness, that I'm travelling on this destination, I want to relax, I want to experience something new. But I also would like to have a positive impact. I don't think it’s the norm to think about it that way. But definitely going forward when things reopen, I hope that we make a conscious effort to become conscious travelers, and not just tourists.

 

ML:

Mm hmm.

 

ML:

And I think now is a, it's an opportune time because we're not travelling so we could be more mindful now. I think that when we do start to travel, we can be so much more impactful. So I think this is a great time for people to start thinking about being more mindful.

 

DB:

So some may be under the impression that, you know, sustainable travel means sacrificing luxury and modern comforts. Is that the case?

 

ML:

I think that that sort of travel, sustainable travel, I think that you can it's adjustable. You know, it suits all types of travelers, luxury budget, you know, you can be sustainable, whichever way that you're looking to travel. I know some luxury brands, especially maybe with like an eco lodge that offers luxury accommodation. You know, that's, that's one way within itself staying within an eco lodge that is the luxury, luxury based. And then you have some hotels that are luxury based that have a great corporate social responsibility programme, right, whereas they are empowering the community and supporting local initiatives. So, I mean, there's just so many ways to be impactful and make a difference when you travel. It just depends on how you want to do it. 

With the more immersive experience, I guess, things like homestays, they tend to be on the more budget side, but if you, if you're travelling to a country, you know just homestays, staying with locals. Really getting into the community with volunteering, and when volunteer and is done right, it can be very impactful. And that means really finding out the needs of the community and what they need as opposed to just go into a destination and say this is what I want to do. You know, it could become kind of counterproductive. But if you volunteer right, that means that you are supporting what the locals need, and you are getting input from the locals. So back to your question, can sustainable travel be done on a Luxe luxury based or you know, budget? Yeah, this there's so many ways that sustainable travel can be implemented.

 

DB:

So Marcelle, the global pandemic has more or less crippled the region, tourism industry, and for many Caribbean islands, this is the main source of revenue. But as we look forward to recovery, and eventual opening up of our borders and the reintroduction of tourist, what role do you think that conscious travel or sustainable tourism can play in supporting the region’s sustainable development?

 

ML:

So yeah, you are absolutely right. islands are very dependent on tourism. And our borders were shut for like three and a half months. And we saw the impacts of what they did to our tourism industry and our economy. So we have opened up to tourists. You know, anyone can come here to Bermuda and travel to Bermuda right now. We have very stringent testing protocols in place. But I think that it's it, I'm hoping that, you know, it changes travel in the way that it becomes more sustainable. I mean, people, right now, people are travelling more domestically, and taking more staycations. And I'm hoping that when travel does resume, that, you know, people would want to stay longer in destinations rather than taking, you know, trip here or there just for a couple of days, but longer travel, because that's what's happening. Now, if that trend stays, that will definitely lead to a more sustainable way. Because when you travel less, of course, you are reducing your carbon footprint. And if you're staying longer in the destinations thing and having more of an impact in the destination, positive impacts. Because you're, you would be supporting the local economy. And with no cruise ships at the moment, with cruise ships and Island travel, you know, this is always a contentious point. Because on the one hand cruise ships, they do bring in a lot of visitors and a lot of people are dependent on cruise ships for their livelihoods, whether directly or indirectly. But on the other hand, cruise ships have been known to be, you know, terrible for the environment. And they also have been known to not really help the economy that much either, because cruise ships, visitors, they don't spend that much

 

DB:

The money goes back, right?

 

ML:

Yes, it goes back. They don't come off the ship. You know, because all their meals they get on the ship. So yeah, we all know, with cruise ships that the passengers really didn't support the local economy that much. And so when travel returns, what is that going to look like? Are we gonna have cruise ships return? And are we going to have them return in the numbers that we had them that in some destinations that was, you know, leading to severe over-tourism, where you had thousands and thousands of people just descending on to a destination all at once and leading to so much overcrowding. So, you know, I'm just hoping that we really take time to reflect on how we're going to restart tourism and what that's gonna look like even here in Bermuda. You know, what's, what's that gonna look like? Are we gonna still try to encourage airline passengers to come? who tend to stay longer So those are just some, some ideas?

 

DB:

Well, here, in Trinidad and Tobago borders remains remain closed, and they have been closed since March. And although Trinidad is the more industrialized of the two islands, Tobago’s economy is heavily based on tourism. So we are feeling the effects of this closure. Even with our internal restrictions, it has limited the amount of domestic tourism. So it really is a difficult situation. But like you said, when we open back up, I'm really hoping that there can be some emphasis on more sustainable forms of tourism. Although I fear will be pretty much more on the theme.

 

ML:

It's, I mean, it's a great time now to have this conversation. So the destinations are starting to talk about well, what's it going to really look like when we when we reopen, but what I'm finding is that it's tended not taking place like this, this conversations are not taking place. destinations seem to be much more focused on just restarting tourism because of the impact that it's had of not having any tourism, you know, destination are just really anxious to just restart it. So you know, those conversations are not really taking place in, you know, this is a really great time for that to happen. But, you know, I understand, but, you know, I just still feel that this conversation should be taking place as well.

 

DB: 

Yeah, the covid 19 pandemic is just one threat to the, to our region's tourism industry. Climate change is another big factor that has been affecting our coastal low lying areas. And both manmade infrastructure and natural ecosystems, like our beaches, and our reefs are being impacted by climate change, more so sea level rise,

 

ML:

Most definitely. Sea level rise and stronger storms and hurricanes. So with the hurricane season, we've had three hurricanes so far. And they haven't been that strong. And they've been category one, category two, but the sort of damage and erosion they've done to the coast has just been extraordinary. And, you know, they weren't even direct hit hurricanes. But they just did so much damage to our coastlines. So we are seeing that and it's, it's just so important. Well, I think this islands have a really unique place when it comes to talking about climate change, because I think we're often the ones to, to feel the effects first, because we're just surrounded by the ocean. So, you know, we see the sea level rising, we feel the impacts of stronger hurricanes. So I know what some destinations are trying to do is, you know, make sure that mangroves are being replanted, because mangroves have a huge part to play in climate change. You know, they are a tree that absorbs like, like I call it the super tree because they absorb so much carbon, I think, out of all the plants and trees on Earth, like mangroves store and hold so much carbon. And a lot of islands are trying to restore their coral reefs, because of course, coral reefs they tend to what's the word they thought of tend to prevent or stop the strong waves from coming in, and also seagrass beds, you know, a lot of islands are looking at trying to regenerate the seagrass beds because they also have a part to play with sea level rise and the impacts of hurricanes. And there was a lady, Angela Burnett Payne from British Virgin Islands, who she had a, she said a quote, and if you don't mind, I can quote her, she said It’s never more important than ever, that we protect our natural defenses. If we protect them, they'll protect us.

So what she was referring to us on mangroves, coral reefs and sea beds. She's written a whole book about how these three natural assets if we just invest in them, how they can protect us from the effects of climate change. So it's really important. And you know, like I said, we're Trinidad is an island, I'm sure you see the effects as well. Yeah, so we're quite vulnerable. 

 

DB:

Yeah, the thing about it, the very thing that makes us such an attractive destination is also what makes us highly vulnerable in terms of climate change.

 

ML:

Yeah, exactly. So you know, fitting that into travel. When people travel to islands, it's not to sort of like shove it down their throat but just give people a better understanding of what some of the challenges islands are facing and how they can help or how they can contribute to you know, just helping islands managed better with these effects, because there's so many conservation efforts going on right now in probably every Island in Bermuda alone, there's so many. And so just really getting travelers tourists up close to some of these issues and some of these conservation organizations, I think, you know, would just give travellers a better idea of, of their of their impacts as well when it comes to travellers. I mean, when it comes to islands and how, you know, they can be more aware of these issues and how they can help. So, It’s really important, and like I said, it's not to sort of bombard people. It’s just all about education. 

 

DB: 

Yes, I think it's important that we make the connection when visitors come to our islands make the connection between what they do back in their countries. And the effect that it has on us as small islands.

 

Unknown Speaker  30:36  

Yes, and making that connection is, is key. Yeah, like I said, it's just about education, and just raising the awareness and not to, like you said, shame people with travel shame people. Because that's counterproductive, isn't it? You know, people don't travel to islands to necessarily see dead or dying corals, or other things that have damaged the natural assets. So it's, it's just so key that, you know, if we can just take care of these, the environment and try to regenerate it as much as possible, so that islands who are dependent on tourism can continue to benefit from tourism. Because without these natural assets being around, there's going to be no tourists. And it's also so important to preserve these, these assets, and to, like you said, make the connection. So this, there's a lot of work to be done. But that connection is so important. 

DB:

Yeah, definitely, 

ML: 

It's not about the sustainability of islands. For one, you depend on tourism, that we have to make sure that we are maintaining what we have. So tourism, so tourists can continue to come. It's about the sustainability of islands for locals, we have to make sure that we're able to continue to live on islands, as well. So it's, it's about the education right now.

 

DB:

Awareness is our first step. And my hope is that awareness would lead to meaningful action.

 

ML:

Yeah, because you don't want to have awareness without actionable steps for people to take. But you know, there has to be a start. Because the later we start to the less that's going to be done. But if we can make a start now, and people can make just actionable steps, put them in practice, then, you know, there is some, there is some hope. And you know, we do have time, and scientists have said that we haven't to 2050, or now I'm here in 2030, to reverse the effects of climate change. So you know, there is some time for people to start. And we talk about the people, but it's the corporations as well. It's definitely the company, the corporations that have to get on board.

 

DB:

Yeah. So we have acknowledged tourism plays a big role in our region's economy. What would you say is the dark side of tourism?

 

ML:

We touched on, you know, the oil increases, which, you know, it's, it doesn't really benefit the local destination as much because a lot of this inclusive resorts are not locally earned, they may employ locals, but because they're not locally earned a lot of the a lot of the money goes out of the economy, and by the way of leakage.

 

So you know, the destination is really missing out on this tourism dollars. Another thing that comes to mind is, you know, when we talk about tourism and the negative effects, I mean, pollution just comes to mind, right? Because if you have thousands of people visiting all at the same time, and you have a country that has really poor waste management, then you will have pollution. And it's not going to be managed properly. So the pollution is going to get into the natural environment, it's going to get into the ocean. So, you know, I'm not sure why some of these countries are not as prepared when it comes to waste management, but you know, they just, they just don't have the capability or the infrastructure. Over-tourism we touched on that a bit as well. When we talk about over-tourism we're referring to large crowds of people visiting the destination all at the same time. They would talk about crowding, it's not nice for the locals. And I'm sure tourists don't really enjoy it as well. So, you know, for tourists, you know, they're missing out on enjoying their travel, because of the large crowds. And so they're not able to really have a really authentic experience of the destination.

 

We talked about cruise ships touched on that a bit. It's like I said, it's a contentious point. But you know, so many locals do depend on tourism visitors and the spending. So it's, it can go both ways. You know, cruise ships are terrible for the environment, but so many people who are, are dependent on them. So this just some of the things that we talked about the negative impacts of tourism Derval.

 

DB:

I know, it's not all negative, there are many positives, many benefits that we derive from tourism.

 

ML:

Yeah, I mean, there's so many positive things about it. That's why I love tourism so much, because of the profound impact that it can have. You know, one of the things that I really appreciate about tourism is that it can really touch the lives of underserved and disenfranchised groups of people, and help to improve their livelihoods. For example, I mean, in some of the emerging countries around the world, like Africa, you know, it's helped to empower and just give more opportunities to people in those regions, and you know, their quality of life has improved, and their livelihoods improve. So that's one of the things that I love about tourism. And also, it helps to preserve culture as well, when done properly, tourism can really enhance a country's culture because it encourages destinations and local communities to really invest and promote their culture and try to preserve it. And another good thing about tourism is the cultural exchange. I mean, we talked about it earlier, when we go to different countries and that whole exchange that we have with, with other people and learning a different culture. I mean, that's, it's just invaluable. And it's like, it's like no other experience.

And this is some of the benefits I could go on and on. But those are the ones that really stand out.

 

DB: Yes. 

 

ML: 

There is a movement that is taking place. So with conscious and sustainable travel, it's going to destinations and travelling and leaving the destination the same. So there is a movement called regenerative tourism. And what that means is that when people travel, they're leaving the destination vector and how they found it. So there is a slight distinction. So with regenerative tourism it includes sustainable tourism, but it's just taking it a step further words, participate in initiatives that leave the destination better. So for example, it could be travelers who participate in a mangrove planting initiative. Right. So they're, they're practicing sustainability on the trip, but they're also contributing to, you know, leaving the destination, more improve better than how they found it. So this initiative is really, it is, like I said, one step further than sustainability. And the intentions are for tourists to, to get really involved in some of these initiatives. So from what I can see, this seems to be the way to go. And it's catching on.

 

DB: 

Where can listeners connect with you Marcelle?

 

ML: 

Okay, so I am on Instagram, Eco Island traveler. And I also have a website. It's called eco Island travel https://ecoislandtravel.com/
So you can connect with me on either one of those sites, and we can continue the conversation of sustainable travel.

 

DB:

Thank you for sharing the power of Travel and Tourism, to inspire, empower and connect.

 

ML:

Thanks so much for having me…

 

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai