Photo: Aivar Ruukel, Cranberries (Some rights reserved)

Consider please faces and places.

It’s easy to have a checklist, perhaps a bucket list, of places to visit. Places are easy to visit and write about. Too many travel publishers love evergreen features (the specifics do not change much) which generally favor places over people. There might be the name or two of a local expert, but rarely more.

From an editorial perspective, it’s easier to write about the timeless nature of a world heritage site or national park than the locals. People of interest are what make places of interest extra special. They may be guides, interpreters, translators, or the random stranger.

It should be stating the obvious to point out the value of individuals. But increasingly those in customer service deal with rude customers. Robots continue to displace humans.

“Faces, not places. Faces and places,” says Marcus Bauer as he prepared for his European Ecotourism Conference presentation.

My personal challenge will be to find and get the permission of some personal friends whom I would like to feature in a section we will call Faces and Places. We would also like to schedule some live conversations to explore this in depth. Suggestions are welcome.

Oaxaca Photo Safari
Ariel, Ron y Rogelio @ Llano Park 06.2011

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