중앙데일리

‘Fair travel’ - making tourism moral

Aug 11,2008
Much like the “fair trade” social movement, which promotes social consciousness in the consumer arena, the new concept of “fair travel” is now pushing tourists to take responsibility for their leisure trips.

The new campaign aims to build healthy relationships between travelers and people living in the countries they visit, focusing on morally responsible tourism, beyond simple enjoyment - it is also called “moral” or “sustainable” travel.

Seo Jeong-gi, 30, a graduate student at Yonsei University, was one of those practicing fair travel recently.

During his trip in mid-June to Dharamsala, India, which hosts the Tibetan government in exile, Seo chose to stay at an inn run by locals and patronized smaller restaurants instead of large resort hotels or fast-food restaurant chains.

“I tried to make my spending during the trip ultimately helpful to the local economy. It was kind of my way to bear the moral responsibility for the possible damage done to the local natural environment by tourists,” Seo said.

Shin Seung-bong, 26, an undergraduate student at Dongguk University, left Thursday for the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator with 13 classmates for a 13-day “fair volunteering” trip.

Shin contacted Mongolian university students via a local social welfare organization and drew up a schedule for the volunteering trip, including working at a Mongolian government-run sanatorium for the elderly.

“It was not easy to discuss the program with local students as early as two months prior to the trip, but it was truly rewarding as we could help people there with what they really need,” Shin said.

The Beautiful Foundation, a nongovernmental volunteer aid organization in Korea, has since July carried out a campaign for travelers to Asian countries to buy at least one local book to help provide immigrant families and workers in Korea with reading materials as well as to help promote the local economy.

“There is no specific rule about what fair travel should be like. Anybody can participate in the fair travel initiative their own way; anything from an individual trip to a group volunteer work trip.

“The only thing that one should remember is that travel is not just about enjoying yourself, it’s about exchanging with people you meet in the process,” said Yim Young-shin, an activist for Imagine Peace, a organization that promotes peace.


By Baek Il-hyun JoongAng Ilbo [spark0320@joongang.co.kr]


dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장