Thursday, 30 September 2010

Just finished reading: The Final Call: In Search of the True Cost of Our Holidays

My bedroom book over the last couple of weeks has been a little unfit for purpose.  It is a collection of essays by Leo Hickman about the environmental impact and economic implications of tourism.  Challenging and stimulating yes, but not reading that has settled my mind ready for a good night's kip for it triggers a big fat juicy, insomnia provoking guilt trip.

Whilst the Lovelygrey family have cut down our use of air transport  The Final Call, is being read at a time that a transatlantic trip to Yellowstone National Park is being planned.  Even though I've offset our carbon (at considerable cost) and it's the first time we've flown long haul in ten years the remorseful feelings have not entirely been eradicated.  But even worse, I've decided to fly to Edinburgh for a weekend away with the girls because it's the quickest way of getting there.  I believe that this quote from Richard Shapley, a professor of tourism which is cited in the book explains succinctly my motives for doing this.

'....tourism is an essentially egocentric, escapist activity, tourists do not want to be burdened with the concerns of the normal world....Tourists pay significant sums of money in search of relaxation, fun and entertainment.  They are, therefore, most likely to give priority to satisfying their personal needs rather than demonstrating and responding to a positive concern for the consequences of their actions'.

Maybe to guarantee a good night's sleep in the future I may need to lighten up, accept my dark side and realise I'm not going to be perfect all the time.  Then again, I could think about how my actions might better match my values....

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