It is said that the dirty secret of travel is that so many go so far to feel so little. Even the Roman philosopher Horace talked of the travelers of his time, writing - “They change their sky, but not their soul.” By this he meant that the mere act of travel won’t make us better people, or change our character, if we are just rushing around without understanding what we’re looking at, or what our purpose for being there is.
Traveling is the best tool
Often the travel industry is viewed as a strain on the planet. Vacationers are said to be nothing more than culture-vultures or travel voyeurs, passively watching, rarely engaging. But as we in the industry know, tourism is about more than just the actual trip. Traveling is the best tool we have for learning about people, cultures, nature, the world, and our place in it. Traveling can inform us, and it can help us grow as humans. It can connect us, and it can be, if we allow it, as much and inward journey as an outward one.
We move to be moved. We change our geography to change our perspectives. So how can traveling be something that travelers not just do, but actually participate in? How can travelling be productive explorations about ourselves and others? How can we create a higher form of tourism?
Help shift the traveler’s mindset
Firstly, we must seek to be partners in real change. We must guide and support traveler in setting intentions and defining desired outcomes for their travel experience. If we can help shift the traveler’s mindset from one of expectation, entertainment, entitlement and extraction, to one that is enriching, enlivening, and fulfilling, we can inspire them to use traveling as a means to learn, grow and better their lives.
Traveling and deeply connecting with others, and ourselves, has the opportunity to heal our mind, our families, our work environments and the world. By helping the traveler to a different insight simply by going on a journey, we can create monumental shifts. The tourism industry, with resorts, hotels, airlines and destinations have a huge opportunity to change tourisms effect on the world. By adding previous unexplored value to their guests stay, the industry have a unique possibility to help travelers see the real value of what a trip can do for their lives, and thus create transformations because of his or hers insight.