Inspiring tourism

Stephanie Williams’ article ‘The heartfelt journey to a better world’ was published in The Sunday Tasmanian newspaper on 12/12/14. I cannot locate a free copy online for you to access, however because her ideas resonated with me, I feel compelled to share them.

Dr Susanne Becken, Professor of Sustainable Tourism at Griffith University, Australia has coined the expression ‘inspired tourism’.  I like these words because they conjure up the idea of a richer and more meaningful travel experience.  One that can lift people’s spirit and extend the limits they might have set for themselves.  The concept of ‘inspired tourism’ opens the way for both traveller and local residents to have value and vitality added into their lives.

When Williams’s article talked about community conscious travellers, it is clear increasing numbers of people are changing the way they holiday.  While more Aussie travellers want authentic experiences, there is increasing acceptance that along with ‘an insatiable appetite for discovering the world comes a responsibility to respect and protect the places we travel to.’

My take on these ideas includes the notion that travelling locally and becoming a tourist in your own town or city, by using public transport, should become a mainstream travel option. To do so is easy on resources, has minimal impact on the environment and most importantly allows the traveller to see more and understand more of their local situation. Until I started walking along the Derwent River, I had no idea about so many of the communities, the landscape and the history of places through which I have passed. And yet I have lived in Hobart for many years. My walk along the Derwent River has been, and promises to continue to be, inspiring.

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