What is Conscious Travel?

The Tourism System

Conscious Travel is a movement, a community and a learning program that enables places to attract and welcome guests in a manner that doesn’t cost the earth.

The operating model that has created a global tourism industry is dying and a new model is emerging. The rules of the game are being re-invented, right now.

Tourism is system of three elements: Places, Guests and Hosts.  As such, it’s all about PEOPLE. If people change their values and their perception of how the world works, then everything else changes.Similarly, tourism is embedded in and dependent on a biosphere for its life support.

There are multiple forces shaking up the tourism system:

  1. The key human actors in the system are shifting not only their values but their core understanding of how the world works;
  2. The industrial model on which tourism is based is collapsing. As it matures, it produces diminishing net returns to all participants, and relies on volume growth to compensate for yield declines.  As visitor volume increases, so do the costs associated with resource depletion, pollution and wealth concentration..
  3. External pressures will require the tourism economy to pay significantly more for services that hitherto have been free or relatively cheap. These cost increases will occur when reduced incomes and higher demand volatility are already compromising the resilience and profitability of existing businesses.

Survival and prosperity depend not just on becoming green but waking up to a whole new way of doing business that deploys a very different set of “P” words than the ones learned at college:

ct model

Practitioners of the new, ecological model know that shareholder profit will be generated if the focus is on creating value for all stakeholders (Michael Porter’s “shared value”). They know that Profit follows Purpose – a commitment to use the business to make the world a better place. Instead of discounting their primary asset – the Place – they focus on protecting, expressing and celebrating its unique Personality to sustain and increase its value to guests.  The passion of all hosts (employees, suppliers, residents), combines with a clear sense of Purpose to PULL in (attract) the kind of guest who will most value what the provider has to offer. The concept of Protection encompasses environmental sustainability, social justice and cultural rejuvenation – we believe hosts must act as stewards and custodians of the land and people on which their business depends.

Unless tourism enterprises embrace the new model they will continue to see their profit margins shrink; their resilience to external shocks weaken; and their viability diminish. Tourism entrepreneurs and their communities need to assume responsibility for changing and cannot assume that traditional institutions or agencies can supply fixes.

Conscious Travel is building an e-learning platform and on and offline communities designed to stimulate and nourish the capacity of tourism entrepreneurs – the 99% – to flourish in new market circumstances.

READ MORE!

NEW!  A summary paper Conscious Travel: Not More but Better, Better for More outlining these concepts in more detail can be downloaded from here.

The Three Elements of the Conscious Travel Program

Why the term “Conscious Travel”?

How is This Program Different & New?

What are the change drivers necessitating a new approach?

Evidence for a Conscious Consumer

Emergence of a Conscious Capitalism

What are the Characteristics of a Conscious Traveller?

What Will it take to be a Conscious Host?

Benefits of Serving Conscious Guests

The Conscious Host Learning Program


48 Responses to “What is Conscious Travel?”

  1. Hey there! I’ve been following your website for some time now and finally
    got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood
    Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the great work!

  2. Wonderful perspective ,Anna…..I can see how you and Charles Eisenstein are kindred spirits!

  3. Interesting Anna great read.

  4. Hi everyone, it’s my first pay a quick visit at this site, and paragraph is in fact fruitful designed for me, keep up posting these types of articles.

  5. Excellent topic, a new way of looking at current tourism development.

    How might this model benefits the local indigineous in the heavy influx of capitals as well as policies and regulation which tend to benefit the biggest n strongest?

    However, your new ways of analysis and presenting this is wonderful.

    I stay in a small area of Indonesia, West Flores in East Indonesia where Varanus Komodoensis exist.

    Cheers

    Marius

  6. Good stuff my dear friend..!!

  7. hello

  8. Many, if not most, small travel business operators cannot get representated by the traditional travel trade …tour operators, wholesalers, retailers…or if they can their costs or the mark-ups added to their products create problems in marketability.

    If consumers can Go-Direct and get fair fare prices / outlet prices and be able to talk to the ‘source’ ….maybe more business will accrue to these smaller operators of accommodations, local tours etc….but they need to be found!

    We have developed http://www.TheTopTravelClub.com …. a ‘Go-Direct (ory)’ available at no cost for any of our services to any travel business that can offer our members ‘net of commission’ / outlet / source prices.

    We do not sell travel or take res…we do not charge any fees or commissions to any travel business for any of our services…but we cannot reach out to all of these entrepreneurs.

    We have tried requesting the assistance of local, regional and national tourism bureaux but have met with minimal response…. we need networks of networkers interested in supporting the creation ‘direct’ wealth for local business enterprises… tony@thetoptravelclub.com .

  9. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d
    like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

  10. Thank you for sharing this. I’m looking forward to traveling more, and this reminded me that it can indeed be done with conscious intention. :)

    I am going to follow you.

    Please feel free to check out my blog. It speaks to aspects of consciousness related to the health of the spiritual, emotional, physical, and “world” bodies.

    http://consciousandnutritious.wordpress.com/

    • Forgive the delay in replying. Thank you for your kind words. I’ve had to take a short break from blogging but will be back soon.

  11. Thank you Anna, it’s great to see this written down as a concept and delivered as a rational argument i lick your blog l lick this good

  12. We have enjoyed exploring your blog, particularly as it reflects the thinking that led us to establish Gecko Villa in rural northeast Thailand – an off the beaten path, experiential holiday rental where direct interaction between the thinking visitor and the local villagers who own and run the property is key.
    We believe that the shift you describe is real, and although it has yet to become mainstream, we have seen an increase in the number of visitors keen to feel a direct and genuine link to the indigenous people when on holiday, and who realize that their vacation choices have a real impact on individuals, places and the environment. A true sense of place has also always been of importance to us, as has sustainability.
    Hopefully websites and blogs such as yours will help contribute to empowering the travel consumer to avoid becoming the consumed.
    Anna, you have shown that many providers support your vision. How about creating a section on your website – a directory or perhaps a forum – to help guide those interested to people and places that share your values?

  13. What a wonderful idea. I have been looking for something like this for ages. Do you have conferences? Where would one book this kind of travel?

  14. Greetings from Bilbao, the Basque Country to you Anna and all the mindfull readers !! my name is Iñigo founder of Go Basquing, an artisan travel company based in Bilbao which purpose is to inspire Goodlife moments to our guests. We are fully convinced and aligned with your content and comments here. We are already working on it having the “Self Institute” as a partner and would like to share our thoughts and projects with all of you … we are confident we could learn and contribute to this spirit … Anna, let us know the best way to do it

  15. What a great blog on Conscious.Travel. Most Impressive!

  16. Saludos desde Ecuador!
    Here, “turismo consciente” has become the motto of our current Ministry of Tourism, Freddy Elhers, a long time journalist and advocate of Nature protection. Yes, this is still new for our travel professionals and authorities, and we will take years to fully grasp it, but to have this concept being officially proposed, discussed and even implemented all over the country is just great. Fortunately, we’ve also had many years of a thriving activity in “turismo comunitario”, a kind of tourism owned and operated by small rural, often indigenous communities, which is by itself at the very core of any kind of tourism that hopes to be conscious. So this beautiful idea of “turismo consciente” has a great chance to become a strong tendency here in Ecuador.
    To answer your question, I think that conscious tourism is a good way to sum up all this terminology we have come up over the years to promote a kind of tourism that is sustainable, ecological, ethical, social, responsible, respectful to others and dedicated to fight poverty, taking into account from intent to action and outcome, as Ron Mader says above. And this is just a beginning, because we need as well conscious business, medicine, journalism, teaching, banking, etc, if we want humanity to survive and prosper.
    So, congratulations for your website and the good ideas being discussed here.
    Best regards,
    Nelson

  17. I’m new to following your blog and new to the industry of conscious travel. I was so excited to find your site after deciding to build a business that takes people on wild dolphin swims in the Bahamas. I have been going to Bimini, Bahamas since 2009 and have seen the devastation that is happening on this quaint island that still has a lot to offer us, as we have a lot to offer Bimini too.

    I decided after falling in love with the people, the culture, the food, the marine life, and the dolphins that I would create a business that supported conscious travel to Bimini.

    Visit my website: http://www.traceyhuguley.wordpress.com

    I am so grateful for your blog and your vision.

    Hope to see you in Bimini someday for a slow paced, sensual, rich cultural shared experience that supports the local economy and preserves the beautiful island of Bimini.

    Love,
    Tracey Huguley
    traceyhuguley@gmail.com

  18. I am a “Hotel Management” student in Australia. It is very sad to say that we are not being taught this at school. All lecturers mention “Sustainable development” but the core business model being taught is the same old and rusty one. I am very passionate about this topic. Thank you for sharing all this information.

    • Thank you Ernesto – I write and think and try to stay young for you and your classmates. Thanks for your comment; visit often and share…

      • Conscious travel is for the THINKING tourist. Then it is up to the THINKING tourist to inform others that our economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of our environment. Exploring, adventure and travel does not have to cost the earth. Soldier on Anna.

  19. Wow this was phenomenal, I wish I could write like you. Where did you learn how to make post like that?

  20. Plus ca change, Anna! Are we really still talking of paradigm shifts after more than fifteen analogue years trying to get DMOs to understand the effects of digital on tourism marketing? Remember Project Ffynnon and the three Cs of new media marketing, community, content and commerce, back in 1996?

    It would all chime with your ‘new paradigm’ were it not 100 internet years ago we were talking of the same thing. It’s only being regarded as ‘new’ by those that weren’t around at the time, despite it having become firmly embedded in our new ‘Facebook’ culture.

    The three Cs say all there is to be said about new media marketing, whilst all the Ps of conventional marketing are as important as they ever were, ‘People’ in particular; such is the nature of tourism.

    To speak of tourism changing its operating model is also misleading. The reason we speak of it in the singular is because we’ve known no better and it’s become the default position perpetuated by technology companies whose ‘model’ the (UK) tourism authorities have been coerced into adopting. It isn’t even a new model; it’s the old high street model superimposed onto a digital platform funded by Government. How uncool is that?

    • Welcome to the conversation Terry – I have happy memories of our discussions back in the mid 1990s about content, commerce and community. Some of us also anticipated the impact of peer to on distribution which is now all the rage…. I’ve also watched with interest, but a large amount of deja vue, the discussion started by Sarah Lebski on Martyn Collins Linkedin Group A new Model for Destination Marketing regarding visitor centres and the role of government that attracted 86 comments. . There’s some really useful material there for DMOs and policy makers….

      http://linkd.in/NYAfqa

      But that’s not my focus now. And yes, I am still talking about paradigm shifts after 15 years for two reasons – a. many people outside tourism now understand what they mean and b. because they are NOT happening in tourism despite all the amazing changes that have occurred since our pub discussions on the borders some 26 years ago! Social media, web services, electronic distribution, complex yield management, even peer to peer selling, are just new ways of doing the same thing: Pushing products to target markets with no real appreciation of or responsibility for the consequences. Or to take an an example from the automotive sector – a SMART car or Prius is not a paradigm shift in car manufacturing just a technological improvement.

      I realise I need to sharpen my language. Tourism is a generic term to describe a system. As a system, it can take many forms (stem cells can become ears, livers, retina, lungs etc) and, as you say, we’ve known no better than the industrial form that dominates today. My thesis is that people who are the tourism system are recognising that the assumptions on which its current form are based no longer work and need to be replaced with a new set that produces greater net benefit to all participants.

      I hope it’s OK with you but I am going to share this in the LinkedIn Group to see if we can attract some other opinions & thanks Terry for the comments,

      • Anna. Great to hear or at least read you. Tourism in BC and in Canada continues to play 2nd or 3rd or 4th fiddle to every other industry. Tourism and the environment continue to be the single biggest impediment to industrial growth, such as Run or River projects in anadromous rivers, mining, logging and the destruction of tourism viewscapes, salmon farming, and the DFO and government themselves who continue to revalue and devalue tourism. There is no respect for our industry yet we are supposed to be bringing in lots of money to the province. We are 2nd or 3rd economic generator?? Do we not count? Our wild salmon are in danger with new virus and sea lice and we are now hearing of many oil spills from Enbridge and others.
        Tourism people are not united. This is our failng. Our government did its best to ruin what we had for a marketing agency and continue to disregard tourism as a real player in our economy. We are indeed an impediment to industrial growth. All we have is the VOTE.

        Anyway, glad you are well and that’s it for now from me.

  21. Brain candy! I love it. As always Anna, you put forth a thought provoking document based on years of experience and trained observation in the tourism industry. As we move from the industrial era, a production focus, and mass market mentality to appreciating the new role of niche markets, new ways of doing business prompted by the information era, increased consumer interest in connecting with businesses vs ‘hearing about them’ the world is changing and we have the opportunity to all do our part. Seeing Kodak file for bankruptcy this week is another demonstration of sticking with the old paradigm rather than figuring out the new. I loved Steve Jobs pure honesty when he declared he didn’t invent anything, he watched others try and then figured out how to do it better!

    As one passionate about the visitor experience, customer lifecycle management and collaborating to compete in today’s world, there is much to be said for your ‘old/new paradigm’. I use that often in my teaching, training, coaching and writing as it really is quite easy in so many areas of tourism to quite literally draw the line. The challenge becomes conducting business in the ‘Now’ world, when lots of the big guns out there are in in the ‘old paradigm’ or have so much invested in older models that change will come slowly, incrementally. And, recently there was finally an opportunity for SME’s here in Canada to take advantage of moving in new ways, but the parameters of inclusion and thinking supported the old way of doing business, old metrics … so disappointing.

    Your focus on the conscious traveller, as we have spoken at length, I agree has come of its time. This is why I have alway opted for the People, Place, Profit way to speak abut sustainability than the triple bottom line which is usually expressed in order of financial, environmental, then social (or social/cultural as some entities like to divide it up).

    We’ve done well over the years to measure financial inputs, outputs and yield optimization – there’s plenty of metrics and they are nice and quantitative which makes it easy to track/report on. Since the 90s I would say we have done a good job on raising awareness on the environmental/planet element in the equation, developed targets, measures, and understand the impacts if we don’t support our environment. Alas – we still have a ways to go here in protecting the special places (land, water, and air) that create the reasons for people to travel. But we’ve started and we now must push for the collective (individual, business, and government) all to do their part, and Canada needs to step up to the plate more on a national basis for sure. The social/cultural or ‘people’ component is in it’s infancy but the critical link that we all must tackle if we want to define a future that is both profitable and protects our environments. It is people who create the laws that dictate and guide the other two. It is people who create the memories for travellers. It is people who beam with pride to share their culture and special places, or work to keep their ‘locals know’ and sacred places tucked away with good reason.

    So I love your focus on the conscious traveller. Your four points on today’s conscious capitalism are well aligned with the Tourism Cafe as we launch a new business into this world that will put people first, set up operations to generate a net benefit for the tourism community and build community while we add our professional contribution to the scene as well. It’s easier to do when you set up a knew company as you control the vision, lead the way individually, with your partner, or a board. For established businesses this is harder as change takes longer and coming out of a world recession we’ve all had to hunker down and really focus. But it can be done.

    Your paper does what you always do Anna, trigger thinking. Yes brain candy that I love to savour over a morning coffee and reflect on my business, my behaviours, and my choices and actions as a traveller. Thanks so much and all the best with you new focus!! I know we will be in touch.

  22. Anna: Once again you amaze me.

    Thanks for the paper Why Tourism Needs a New Operating Model. Great thoughts, but also true. I have had these images and thoughts running through my head for a long time but never have I been able to put them so nicely as you have here.

    At Nimmo Bay, our Theory of Hospitality (E2=MC, or Expectations Exceeded = Memories Created) pretty much encompasses what you say here about Place, Host and Guest. It applies to all kinds of travelers. We all must continue to seek Return Guests as this is the best form of marketing and we still must market our message, albeit in different ways now. But to get a guest to return is the ultimate compliment as to how you conduct yourself and your business. Return guests also will carry away and bring back with them your thoughts and attitudes on how you do business and treat the world. So conscious hosts will grow the number of conscious travellers and aid in the growth of conscious travel.

    I have found that the simple things have added to the continuation of Nimmo Bay even during the tough times, the times of bifurcation that we are experiencing right now. Our three secrets to staying alive and growth are: Humour, Music and Detail. Break it down however you want but this its simplest form. People go where they are invited and return where they are well treated. Simple.

    I understand the need for change or we all won’t be around. I wonder if you have read the book by Niall Ferguson called Civilization. Give it a try if you can. He is a Scots history professor from Harvard. I am trying to read it now.

    I have forwarded your paper here on to my family members and a few colleagues. My one regret is that BC and Canada was and is too foolish and short sighted not to use your thoughts and services while you were here. We have the venue, the hosts and the guests in BC and you have the answers. New Zealand will benefit while we continue to fight and suffer from politics, a fractured tourism industry and the belief at all levels of Government, that all other industry can and will trump tourism.

    I believe our biggest worry is coming and that is the threat to our waterways of the mainland coast from Bute / Toba to north of Bella Coola. All the river systems, big and small, have been slated for Run of River power projects. Nothing has been finalized until the First Nations have completed their treaties and land agreements with government, then the Power Projects will begin in earnest on this coast. So much for wilderness experiences and pristine rivers and wild salmon runs. No wonder the Governments want to do away with wild salmon as they are the single biggest threat to the progress of all other coastal industries such as aquaculture, oil and gas, run of river projects, logging, mining, and a host of other man made industries which will pollute and destroy our natural eco systems.

    In British Columbia we have been given an opportunity to be the fathers and mothers of Conscious travel as we are blessed with an environment second to none. Go to the Apple APP store and search for NimmoBay360 to see just how beautiful this Province is. Do we want to sacrifce what is ours to protect. What now are we doing, giving and selling it away to foreign owners and multi-national corporations as we are seen as a resource rich Province instead of the environmentally and culturally rich Province we are. This message must be sent world wide. Our economy is definitely a subsidiary of our environment and the power of piss poor politics is trumping the truth of tourism and conscious travel.

    The Tourism industry has a huge battle ahead of it in BC. New Zealand has a different view of tourism. They are capitalizing on Middle Earth and what they have been blessed with. Good for them and woe is us.

    Thank you for producing this paper Anna and writing it in language that can be understood by the rest of us mere mortals. I will assist you in any way I can as ” I believe “.

  23. Anna – Brilliant, as always.

    Pat and I are at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, about as far away from sustainable anything as one could find. But some of the same dynamics are at work:
    A de-emphasis of traditional product and branding and a more wider emphasis on building “ecosystems” linking people, media, devices. even household items. The big top-down trade show paradigm is weakening in favor of direct consumer interaction and customization, often bypassing traditional channels and media. We saw a pile of new travel apps last night, all based on sharing and do-it-yourself content. Also, lots of new solar devices including a Kindle cover that allows you to keep reading…and reading…and reading. Keep up the good work – Russ

  24. We are designers of conscious travel and welcome communication with your organization and readers: http://www.elevatdestinations.com

  25. This reminds me of the comment made more than three decades ago by my first boss at Switzerland Tourism, Dr. Werner Kaempfen, a pioneer in what nobody at that time called destination marketing but rather tourism promotion. He coined the phrase that “tourism is in danger of destroying tourism!”.

    This was at a time when across the Alps and elsewhere a construction boom was in the process of destroying the very natural assets that had attracted visitors for not only decades but centuries in the first place, all in the name of progress but thinly disguising pure commercial interests and profits.

    The battle was won, at least partially, by limiting the worst excesses and requiring infrastructure to blend into the landscape rather than destroying it.

    In a similar vein, the growth of mass tourism in the second half of the last century led to the de-personalization – what an ugly word, but aptly describing an ugly development – of travel. What I mean by this is the lack of respect on the one hand by visitors for the culture and customs of the places visited and the pure commercialization by the host industries to cater to the lowest denominator and often price.

    In the late ’90s a campaign was developed by Switzerland Tourism that tried to address that disconnect and counter the trend and I recall one headline we considered – and I still have T-shirt with the slogan: “Don’t tourist me I’m on vacation!”

    For tourism to prosper and grow responsibly requires exactly what is written here, a compatibility of interests between hosts and guests and the realization that travel and tourism is so much more than a mere “industry”. Any effort to make people aware, educate, train and empower them to be both responsible hosts and guests – because we are both, at different times – is worth supporting.

    Conscious.Travel is a most welcome initiative and deserves wide support.

  26. What a delight to discover your initiative, Anna! It’s an inspiring validation and extension of the heart-warming “conscious capitalism” initiative (for instance, http://www.consciouscapitalism.org). As we as global neighbors grow in numbers — over 7 billion and counting! — we face an increasing imperative to act mindfully, lovingly, responsibly in all respects. You’re wisely pointing out that includes honoring and learning about the ways, rights, capacities and limits of other lands and their people. We’ve never had a right to use and abuse others for our benefit, and not doing so — even with those whom we know and love intimately — is a tall order indeed! So, thank you for your humble, confident and bold leadership as a beacon to all!!

    Robert Moore
    Columbus, Ohio U.S.A.

  27. Congratulations, Anna, for spearheading this movement and leading it so strongly. Your vision is coherent, robust and comprehensive. I can only foresee positive ripples following in the wake of your thought leadership.
    Best of luck and keep us posted,
    Gina

  28. I look forward to the day when we hear the word “conscious” in relation to businesses of all kinds. Sustainability is a start, Social Responsibility, and CSR is good too, but one day, Conscious Capitalism will be the norm for business. Congrats Anna on shining the light in the travel industry! ~Micheline Birkhead

  29. Insightful article – I like the people – places – activities paradigm as it applies to both guests, suppliers and the environmental / human legacy. It is one we used to use in geography! It is simple in terms of understanding, sound in terms of its depth and sustainable in terms of its objective. Keep us posted! All good wishes, Patrick

    • Thank you Dr. Patridge. People-Places not surprising as I am a Geographer and getting back to my roots. I was not that good at Economics but I did understand the impact of scarcity. Only by celebrating the uniqueness of each place and the uniqueness of a person’s encounter with a place at a unique point in time can we demonstrate the true value of a guest’s experience and position and price accordingly.

  30. Love your concept – great new angle. I’ve been working on similar lines for a couple of years and created a niche in providing tour services in my company realCHINA.ca – if you have the time – please have a look.

  31. An example in New Zealand during the Rugby World Cup – there was the much hyped party central in Auckland with tens of thousands buzzing. My small community of Waipu had a welcome lunch for Canada supporters – 200 people in the village hall, with the local primary school and circus group and great local food. A totally different experience – rich and local and real and unpolished, but rich in contact and friendship and connection.

  32. Hi there, very excited to come across this idea and this website – posted on my women travel blog http://www.womentravelblog.com/index.php/2011/09/conscious-travel/ would love to keep in touch with developments. This is very much where my motivation for women and travel has derived from, and my involvement here in NZ in sustainable tourism.

    Go for it….

    If you ever want a hosted wordpress website let me know – I think it gives you more impact and enables you to build newsletter list etc etc. my womentravelblog.com is one.

  33. Thank you Anna, it’s great to see this written down as a concept and delivered as a rational argument. I look forward to seeing increasing numbers of New Zealand tourism operators picking up this ball and running with it.

  34. Insightful blog Anna, it seems to boil down to good ol’ common sense. Unfortunately, the great irony of travel and the distribution of information is that ‘real’ destinations can be swamped and some have to adapt or grow to meet demands. Not easy to keep the balance of the original proposition and the profit motive.

  35. Hi Ron,
    We are definitely of “like minds” and like hearts. Your definition of conscientious travel is sot on. I particularly liked:

    “Simply put, it’s traveling with one’s conscience and connecting with others in a particular place. …..Conscientious tourism occurs when we are fully aware of our individual and collective actions as travelers. We allow ourselves to be inspired by others and in our gratitude we acknowledge the good work of those around us”

    Somehow we have to bring back a sense of wonder and awe at the mystery and magic of the universe – its ability to have evolved to such levels of complexity and beauty and for each one of us 6.9 billion people to be physiologically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually unique.

    Let’s journey together – thank you for your comments and support. Anna

  36. Anna, I was so pleased to chat with you this week.

    ‘Conscious Travel’ shares much with a concept I’ve called ‘conscientious tourism’ — http://www.planeta.com/ecotravel/tour/definitions.html#Conscientious — and I agree so much that what we need is something that focuses on intent, action and outcome no matter what terms we use.

    Businesses engaging in ‘conscious travel’ are connecting in new ways with visitors. There is a difference beween bums on seats and minds in gear. There’s great inspiration from long-time ecotourism pioneers such as Black Sheep Inn (Ecuador) which is converting from single or two-night stays to week-long retreats. Slow travel and slow adventures are key to making this conscious revolution throughout the economy. So here’s to Conscious Business and many thanks for illuminating the way forward.

  37. I love this concept Anna and so agree with Fiona’s comments. As the world gets smaller the more we need people who are happy to extol the virtues Conscious Travel and awareness of the impact that we have on our planet as we journey around around this lovely planet of ours. I, for one, have heard your rallying cry and am more than happy to support you in any way I can.
    Zoe

  38. best wishes with the project Anna – I agree that tourism CAN be different! more power to you – Greg Stevenson

  39. This is spot-on Anna. The Global Financial Crisis has changed the way customers think and act – and the role of travel in their lives has changed. More and more, todays tourists are seeking personal or career development as an outcome of their travel. Savvy companies are doing business differently. Being green, traceable and responsible – and conscious hopefully – is fast becoming a core, mainstream consumer expectation (read ‘hygiene factor’) whether the product in question is foods such as fish or meat, textiles such as wool or cotton, or visitor experiences such as destinations or cultural tourism. My own definition of ‘luxury’ has morphed to now include being able to eat food just harvested from my own garden that I know has had no sprays or pesticides near it. As Keith Bellows, Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Traveller, has said “It’s getting even harder to find the real … the world was becoming one big marketplace that embraces a sort of bland, global sameness … We’re embracing the mass and the generic more than ever. When I travel … I look for the one-of-a-kind … something that suggests true sense of place. The unique, the singular, the special, the item I can bring home that says: This expresses the personality of the community I just visited; it can only be found there” (from The Cultural Traveler, Issue 4, 2010). Geoffrey Lipman’s work on ‘Travelism’as a low carbon, green-growth sector is also very relevant. More please! Cheers, Fiona

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