There is no easy solution – simply to stop travelling will have enormous economic impact on small communities for whom travellers provide a major economic boost to the local community. In New Zealand – tourism is set to overtake exports as New Zealand’s top export earner. There is also the potential to put an economic benefit to forests not being cut down, because of the benefit in terms of tourism.
On the other hand tourism is a major contributor to climate change through the cost of flying, increasing numbers are seeing the degradation of pristine environments.
One solution that is growing is the kind of travel that has a lighter impact on the land, and includes a great cultural engagement with local people, and adds value to the country we are passing through. So the growth of Volunteering, and work in exchange for board – systems that have been pioneered by the Wwoofing movement – Willing workers on Organic Farms.
I have just come across a new network – Work Away – gap year and volunteer in exchange for food and accommodation