Tag: Responsible Tourism

Interview With Greg Mortenson: One Traveler Changing Lives

David Frey asks the bestselling author about the "Three Cups of Tea" approach to travel and life

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Does a Resort Vacation Benefit the Locals?

Slate tackles the perennial question in its latest do-gooder column..


A Room Service of One’s Own

After a terrible-yet-exciting day in the Malaysian town of Johor Bahru last fall, returning to my room at the Hyatt was the highlight of my visit. Malaysia’s second largest city had not treated me well. Worse, I missed dinner. It was late, and I was hungry. So why, even under duress, did I waffle about ordering room service? Don’t worry, I did—and I didn’t hesitate to remove several Tiger beers from the mini-bar while I waited—but I felt guilty about it anyway.

For years, I saw room service as a luxury for people with too much money or not enough inclination to explore the city they were visiting. Why bother to stay in when so many other options were outside the front doors of the hotel? In Johor Bahru, though, I was glad to have it. As my writing career has progressed and I’ve found myself holed up in towns where bringing a laptop outside isn’t such a bright idea, room service has come in handy. It’s never very good, but that’s the price you pay. Literally—food on a silver platter doesn’t come cheap.

So what does room service mean to you? Is it utility food or a time to splurge when getting dressed is too much to ask?


Slumming It: Can Slum Tourism Be Done Right?

Dharavi, Mumbai REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe

Global Positioning: On the intersection of place, politics and culture

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Should I Give Money to Child Beggars?

Vagabonding traveler Rolf Potts answers your questions about travel and the world

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Ethical Travel for the Mindful Tourist

Ethical Travel for the Mindful Tourist Photo by joiseyshowaa (Creative Commons).
Photo by joiseyshowaa (Creative Commons).

Argentina, Bolivia and Bulgaria top the 2008 list of the top ten ethical travel destinations, according to Ethical Traveler, a project of the San Francisco-based nonprofit Earth Island Institute. Researchers studied 70 developing countries “from Albania to Zimbabwe” to see which are actively improving their natural environment and the lives of their people through tourism. Half of the countries on the list are in Latin America but none in Asia, where runaway development has wreaked havoc on the land and human rights abuses continue to worsen.

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