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Doomsday Tourism

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Tourism is often inspired by a curiosity to see something new, but somewhere around the Great Recession of 2008 a new motivation for tourism emerged and it was born of a more pessimistic view on the world. It is called Doomsday Tourism or Last-Chance Tourism.

This is inspired as much by curiosity as the ticking clock of climate change. With the man-made creation of Garbage Island in the Pacific Ocean, melting ice caps and rising water levels, people are flocking to sites before it is too late. Two locations at the top of many lists are the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica, but interest extends to many other places including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Glacier National Park in Montana. For a more comprehensive list of natural wonders in danger, visit ecowatch. On this site you can also access the 2017 Conservation Assessment of all Natural World Heritage Sites.

Currently, there is a lot less online chatter about companies that offer trips to these locations. It is hard to say if this is because people are feeling more or less optimistic than they were 1- years ago, or if this concept just integrated itself into more mainstream tourism. Either way, any increase of visitation to these sites can bring positive attention to the plight, but also increase corrosive traffic to the environment. When touring an endangered site, practice sustainable tourism by engaging with local businesses, respecting the wildlife and leaving as a small a foot print as possible.

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