A great reflection and photos on Thailand, minorities and ethical tourism
Ethical tourism is tricky. If ever it did, the ‘take only pictures, leave only footprints’ brand of travel ethics doesn’t stand up to scrutiny during the era of climate crisis. The severely negative impact of mass tourism has blighted both historic cities and pristine natural habitats, and driven exploitation of people and nature. Travel can contribute to a greater understanding between peoples, but mass tourism is not a great vehicle for building mutual respect or sustainable economic development.
The exploitation of vulnerable minorities displaced by war is probably not something most of us would knowingly sign up for. Yet the case of the Kayan people highlights that even this over simplification is fraught with ethical dilemmas.
I was in Chiang Mai working with a local organisation providing mobile health services to remote communities in the region. These are mainly poor…
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