Photo: Ron Mader, Borough Market (Some rights reserved)
by Peter Hutchison
From the archives
Everyone likes a debate, but a discussion is more fruitful. The world is not black and white, it is grey and if an article takes the stance that ecotourism exists for those on a higher plane, the vast majority of people will turn the page or switch off because while concerned about the environment the elusive vast majority see environmentalism as equating to camomile tea and early nights.
For your consideration
Personally I believe the very word ‘ecotourism’ is partially responsible for creating this separation. Presumably the goal of promoting the environment in our journalism is to encourage more people to be more environmentally considerate.
It’s not about preaching to the converted, but getting some of the masses who currently don’t care to come and listen to something new.
To point out that the experience of walking in nature, as Ron Mader put it, is not changed by being environmentally considerate – it is the preparation, planning and follow-through that goes in to the event that makes it environmentally sensitive.
Along the continuum
It is not just to get everyone to stay at a lodge which has achieved certification. Surely it is ‘about nudging people along the continuum’ to stop the pig-ignorant and filthy to be a little more considerate, to get the concerned to take another step further, and so on. Not the big leap, but the small step that makes the journey.
This commentary was originally presented by Peter Hutchison, editor of the Footprint Guide to Mexico, in the Media, Environment and Tourism Conference.